By Zach Hester
I didn’t come across the music of Jenny Lewis until I saw her name near the top of the lineup at this year’s Pilgrimage Music Festival. After turning on her new album On The Line during my morning commute this week, I’ve now found a new artist that’s a MUST-SEE for me if I get to go to Pilgrimage this year.
On The Line feels like the quintessential Nashville album. What I mean by that is that it’s diverse enough to be the kind of music you’d hear if you strolled down Honky Tonk Row. Every time you pass a new bar, there’s a new song with a slightly different style but with the heartstring-tugging twang that makes you feel something. I know Lewis isn’t native to the area, but it still fits so well. The record is soul, country and rock all mixed into one coherent sound.
The opening track “Heads Gonna Roll” had me hooked with its lamenting message about the reality of death, but with a tempo that welcomes you to tap your foot.
My personal favorite tracks have to be “Dogwood” and “Little White Dove”, both of which sound like something from a long lost Stevie Nicks record. The latter is a love letter written to Lewis’ deceased mother but “Dogwood” is a real gut punch with a lazy groove about love that makes it sound like it fits perfectly as a slow song at a school dance.
This album is spectacular. That’s all there is to stay. It’s alternative country akin to Kacey Musgraves, but with the pop influences replaced by rock n’ roll. From themes and ideas of lost love, death, drinking, party clowns and so much more. Go listen to this record, as soon as possible.
- Best Songs: Dogwood, Hollywood Lawn, Little White Dove
- Rating: ★★★★½