By Chuck Arnold V.R. PETERSON Beverly Keel
March 13, 2006 12:00 PM

Rabbit Fur Coat

CRITIC’S CHOICE

ALT-COUNTRY

Having been an indie darling as frontwoman of Rilo Kiley, Jenny Lewis steps out on her own with a little help from some gospel-singing sisters. Her solo debut, Rabbit Fur Coat, is an alluring alt-country disc wrapped in warm-and-fuzzy sentiments and more southern charm than you would expect any L.A. hipster to have. The disc kicks off with the old-time gospel “Run Devil Run,” with Chandra and Leigh Watson providing a cappella harmony as rich as a Mississippi mud pie. The spirit of Sunday mornings of yesteryear also pervades such tunes as the plaintive “Born Secular.” Lewis’s heavenly voice—which at times channels Laura Nyro—is deceptively soulful on songs such as “Melt Your Heart,” an achingly beautiful ballad on which she sings, “When you’re kissing someone who’s too much like you/ It’s like kissing on a mirror/ When you’re sleeping with someone who doesn’t get you/ You’re gonna hate yourself in the morning.” Preach on, Jenny.

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DOWNLOAD THIS: “Melt Your Heart”

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