Sheep in world's clothing meets the execution of all things
"Any chimp can play human for a day," More Adventurous
begins, and if you think you know which chimp, you're right, and if
you think Bush-is-stupid is way off-message by now, you're also
right. But Jenny Lewis isn't stupid, so she massages the cliché, as
in, "But it's a jungle where war is made/And you'll panic and throw
your own shit at the enemy." The chimp turned "sheep in wolf's
clothing" gets a 10-line verse, followed by another about suburban
smugness that segues self-critically--she's "not buying it," but
she'll "try selling it"--into a nine-liner about sorority girls, their
fellow Greeks the tragedians, getting paid, writer's block, the "sin
when success complains," and seeing what sticks: "Gotta write a hit/I
think this is it/It's a hit." Blam--finally, the chorus. The music's
been building--marker riff, drum accent, keyb chimes--and here a horn
flourish gets us to "And if it's not" before a femme chorus helps her
repeat "it's a holiday for a hanging" 4X and cap it off with "shoo-bop
shoo-bop my baby." Now what's this? An 11-line verse about
. . . executions, and pardons that never come from the man "upstairs."
Who was it who got to enter the kingdom of God? Doesn't anyone
remember? Chimp becomes sheep-wolf becomes camel.
Depending on your definition, "It's a Hit" may not be a hit. But
More Adventurous will top 30,000, and Warners will underwrite a
video. Song of the year.
Village Voice, Sept. 7, 2004