The Voyager by Jenny Lewis
I’ve been a fan of the artist at #24 for a very long time. First as the lead singer of the pop rock group Rilo Kiley, and then through various solo releases, Jenny Lewis has kept my attention rapt for over ten years now. The Voyager is Lewis’s third solo release. Her first solo release, 2006’s Rabbit Fur Coat, found Lewis performing with the Watson Twins to create a beautiful countrified version of what Lewis was making popular with her former band. Her second solo album, Acid Tongue, fell flat for me.
But this new album felt different. It’s certainly hit or miss — there are some stellar rock & roll pop hits on here, mixed with lackluster songs of longing and jealousy. But overall, it’s a good record of where Lewis finds herself today, with many personal triumphs and feelings shared for us all.
My favorite song on the album is the title song, which comes at the end of the record. Orchestral, slow, and harkening back to the country songs she wrote for her first solo album, the song meanders across drug references, space travel references, loose ties to religion and many other areas, explaining nothing and everything at once.
The song featured in the video above is also a standout on the album. I wrote about this particular video back in July when it came out:
“Just One of the Guys” is a fantastic send-up of gender and parenthood roles in the music business and beyond. Helping Lewis convey this fact are Anne Hathaway, Kristen Stewart, Brie Larson and drummer Tennessee Thomas, sometimes dressed in drag. Listen to the words of this one. Joking nature aside, there are some very poignant things being said within.
And there’s a lot more biting commentary just like that across the album. Get it now and experience it for yourself.
25. Voices by Phantogram
26. Morning Phase by Beck
27. Hungry Ghosts by OK Go
28. Run the Jewels 2 by Run the Jewels
29. Cosmos by Yellow Ostrich
30. Teeth Dreams by The Hold Steady
31. With Light & With Love by Woods