Jenny Lewis: The Voyager (Warner Bros.) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Jenny Lewis

The Voyager

Warner Bros.

Jul 29, 2014 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Jenny Lewis is one of the rare non-pop artists we’ve had the chance to grow alongside. Some of us were first acquainted with her as far back as her childhood acting rolesshe’ll always be Haley from The Wizard to mewhile many caught up with her in the late ‘90s with the launch of Rilo Kiley. She charmed us again as part of The Postal Service, and we followed her faithfully between alternating Rilo Kiley and country-tinted solo records, numerous side appearances, and a Jenny and Johnny album recorded with partner Johnathan Rice. She’s been a familiar voice for two decades, and because she’s so unafraid to channel herself and her emotions into her music, we can fool ourselves into feeling like she’s someone we actually know.

It’s Lewis’ personal touch, however, which pulls us back from project to project. Many of her fans are close enough in age to empathize with the feelings that inspired her over the last four years between records; when early-midlife anxieties seep up again and again on The Voyager, we’re there with her. There are the positive thoughts, such as the joy of settling down with someone, which she sings about in “Love U Forever”; it’s an exuberant rocker where Lewis promises to love her guy “until all the Polaroids fade.” But the bad ones dwell here, as well. Take, for one, “She’s Not Me,” about the strange feeling of watching an ex find lasting happiness with someone else (“All those times we were making love/I never thought we’d be breaking up/Bet you tell her I’m crazy”). And “Just One of the Guys” may be the most frank musical lamentation on the unfairness of a ticking biological clock: “Whenever I look at myself all I can see/I’m just another lady without a baby.”

But even if you chose to overlook the lyrics, The Voyager is another fantastic musical outing from Lewis. From the Rumours-esque opener “Head Underwater,” through the Loretta-leaning “Late Bloomer,” to the melancholy closer “The Voyager,” this is another LP of stellar Americana-flavored indie rock from one of our generation’s most reliable singer/songwriters. (

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10


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