Jeffrey Lewis & the Junkyard – Em Are I

Jeffrey Lewis

Musically, it’s hard to say that this is pushing anything anywhere.  It’s just Jeffrey Lewis doing what Jeffrey Lewis does, with little that will bring any sonic surprise to those people familiar with his stuff already.  There are a couple of what I suppose I would call straightforward rock ‘n’ roll songs on here, which is where his more raucous material seems to be moving these days instead of the punk-folk aesthetic of earlier releases, but this is a pretty fine distinction.  The gentler ballads and clattering singalongs still form the solid core of this album.

So why is it good?  I’ve absolutely no fucking idea, but it most definitely is.  This is an excellent record, despite being pretty straightforward and predictable in most ways.

Maybe it’s because with Lewis there appears to be almost no fourth wall.  There is no obvious shield of artifice between him and his audience, so maybe this means that I am judging this album less on the music, and more on the basis of my relationship with Lewis himself.  Basically, he seems like a nice guy; he’s literate, witty, self-deprecating and thoughful, and this all comes across very strongly in his lyrics.

This album is almost like having a late night pub conversation with the man himself.  It and he are both just likeable; thought-provoking and entertaining at the same time and, as a bonus, set to a backdrop of good music.  There are songs on here I am less keen on, but that’s the case with every Lewis album I’ve ever heard.  This is just good, in the plainest and most straightforward way possible.  Enjoy.

Jeffrey Lewis & the Junkyard – Whistle Past the Graveyard
[audio:http://www.matthewjamesyoung.com/sbt/JeffreyLewisandtheJunkyard-WhistlePasttheGraveyard.mp3]

Jeffrey Lewis & the Junkyard – To Be Objectified
[audio:http://www.matthewjamesyoung.com/sbt/JeffreyLewisandtheJunkyard-ToBeObjectified.mp3]

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