The Atlantic

The Complex Carpe Diem of Jenny Lewis’s On the Line

The rocker’s fourth solo album has a big, bold sound and a mature, unapologetic take on desire.
Source: Autumn de Wilde

Guitar fuzz blurs into the sound of a dial tone that’s sustained for 20 seconds, requiring listeners of the text-message era to, for once, hear and feel and think about what it means to be disconnected. So ends the title track of Jenny Lewis’s On the Line, and the trick says a lot about this terrific album by one of this millennium’s most reliable rock figures.

For one thing, the retro aesthetic of the landline—soRingo Starr plays drums on two songs; references to Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones appear in the lyrics; and the equipment of Frank Sinatra and Carole King was used during the recording process. The music has a proudness—bold rhythms, finely considered melodies, plummy instrumental passages—uncharacteristic of the and tags that might erroneously remain attached to Lewis from the former child actor’s days in the early 2000s band Rilo Kiley.

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