Sun, Sun, Sun
by Katie Sauro
On Rilo Kiley albums, the occasional Blake Sennett-led song is a treat, his soft vocals bathing listeners in warmth and familiarity, comforting them with his acoustic timidity. But Jenny Lewis is the frontwoman, the leader, the star, if you will, so Sennett’s vocals are oftentimes lost.
With The Elected, however, the endearing Sennett takes center stage and proves he is just as praiseworthy and deserving of stardom as Lewis. And Sun, Sun, Sun, the follow-up to 2004’s Me First, is country-tinged folk-pop at its finest, channeling 60s folk legends and evoking memories of dusty country roads with plenty of pedal steel guitar, piano, and harmonization.
Most of the songs on the new album are straightforward pop melodies made oh-so-gorgeous by way of stunning arrangements and Sennett’s breathy vocals. Highlights include the horn-laden “Fireflies in a Steel Mill,” the bluesy “Did Me Good,” and the swoon-inducing heartbreaker, “I’ll Be Your Man,” on which Sennett plays the role of the charming hero. They throw in a few slower acoustic numbers, including the stripped-down title track, but no question, it is a pop album. And a damn good one at that.
For more information on The Elected, hit up www.subpop.com, and be sure to check out The Wig's review of their CD release show on January 24!