Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Jenny Lewis With the Watson Twins: Rabbit Fur Coat [Team Love, 2006]
More autobiographical, less dynamic--that is, a solo debut. Fortunately, the story outlined in the blurred title tune has the virtue of setting the record straight if you take it literally, always a chancy tack. Child actress or no, the Rilo Kiley frontperson says she grew up poor. Last time she heard (or is this just narrative compression?), her mom was living in her car and putting stuff up her nose. And though the singer-with-backup music relies on formula that won't set anyone's life straight, her melodic chops--sweet as a writer, supple as a singer--put the songs across. Dramatic and literary chops also help. A-