The sophomore album from Jenny Lewis, Acid Tongue is reminiscent of the ’70s from the beginning.
The yellow sleeve with the repetitive design lists the tracks and varied guests on the back foregoing lengthy liner notes. Inside there are four Polaroid style photos and the classic Warner Brothers label graces the disc.
Like her first album, there’s no Pro-Tools or other studio magic employed to perfect vocals or guitar licks. Unlike Rabbit Fur Coat, the music is less catchy on the first listen. Instead of masquerading as a long-lost Loretta Lynn record, it’s more of an early Linda Ronstadt album: more variety, less predictability and still not quite pop.
Some of the songs that are most likable are ones that have been floating around the Internet for awhile like See Fernando and Carpetbaggers which had been on YouTube as a duet with Johnathan Rice but on the album features Elvis Costello on vocals.
Other tunes like Bad Man’s World, Trying My Best to Love You and the unapologetic Acid Tongue sound better and better after a few spins.
The unlikely standout track is The Next Messiah, which at nearly nine minutes combines three different songs without reaching into the realm of jam-band repetitiveness.
Overall, it works because it’s everything we like about Jenny Lewis but it’s not a repeat performance of what worked in the past for her with either the Watson Twins or Rilo Kiley.
Get Acid Tongue on iTunes