Posted in Album Reviews

Jenny Lewis – On The Line (2019)

On Jenny Lewis’ Wikipedia page, the reader is struck by how much she has accomplished in both TV/film and music.  Starting in acting at a young age, Lewis switched over to music with her old band, Rilo Kiley, formed with her then boyfriend Blake Sennett.  On The Line is her fourth solo album, including 2006’s release as the Watson Twins, and second since the break-up of Rilo Kiley in 2014. 

On The Line features an impressive list of collaborators including Beck and Ryan Adams (both producing), Ringo Starr, Don Was, Benmont Tench, etc. Common themes of drugs, drinking and broken relationships emerge throughout the eleven songs.  “Wasted Youth” is a peppy track that features the line, “I wasted my youth on a poppy, just for fun”.  First single “Red Bull & Hennessy” is a standout that is certainly more polished and somehow seems brighter than the other tracks here.  “Taffy” is slower and more dramatic as Lewis taps into her inner Lana Del Rey before the album ends on a sparkling, upbeat 60s influenced “Rabbit Hole” that namechecks both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

The supporting cast never outshines the star, and it is clear that Jenny Lewis is the star here.  While failing relationships make up the bulk of the album, it rarely comes across as a downer. On The Line tells a lot of tales and is more than happy to bring the listener along for the ride.