Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Godspeed - Jenny Lewis

Basking in analogue warmth, “Godspeed” is the second single taken from Jenny Lewis’ sophomore album Acid Tongue. Lucinda Williams, Patsy Cline et al were obvious frames of reference for this retro-styled piano ballad which proffers counsel to a female mired in a dangerous relationship.
“Godspeed” is an elegantly poised torch song blending various alt country influences with the more mainstream FM sound of their forbearers. The album was recorded using analogue technology rather than modern digital applications, and the effect is stunning. The space afforded to each instrument and vocal brings to mind Phil Spector’s best productions. The fact that the chord progression of the chorus and walking bass lines echo a late era Beatles arrangement does little to discourage this sentiment.
There will be a temptation for many to simply dismiss Lewis’ new sound as adult contemporary, yet her vocal performance and the impeccably judged nature of this track demand attention. True, it is not as idiosyncratic and is steeped in tradition rather than presenting a blueprint for future pop as anything on Rabbit Fur Coat or Rilo Kiley’s latest work. Shorn of the ethereal backing harmonies of the Watson Twins the song could also be perceived as lacking in dynamic but the songwriting is of the highest order and pulls it through.
This article was originally produced for To read the music review of Godspeed by Jenny Lewis on the site, please click on the article title.

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