Rilo Kiley

This spunky Hollywood pop-rock outfit boasts not one but two former child actors: singer Jenny Lewis, who made Shelley Long feel like a good mom in Troop Beverly Hills, and guitarist Blake Sennett, who somehow survived a four-year stint in the cast of Boy Meets World. (The band also boasts a file folder overflowing with not one but 200 reviews that mention this very fact. I just want to belong!) In Rilo Kiley, Lewis and Sennett use what they learned under those hot lights between desultory back-lot study sessions. Each song on More Adventurous, the band's third album, is a miniature set piece of juicy twentysomething drama: political disenfranchisement in opener "It's a Hit," get-a-real-job exhaustion in "Does He Love You," talking that leads to touching that leads to sex in "Portions for Foxes." Lewis sells her characterizations with the kind of low-key heat that's made starlets out of peers like Chloë Sevigny and Scarlett Johansson, and Sennett adds little record-nerd touches to tunes whose melodic weight can support them; check out how little the jaunty, French-sounding "Ripchord," in which Sennett sings lead, sounds like indie poseurs trying to appear jaunty and French.
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Mikael Wood

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