Jenny Lewis is Her Own Next Messiah on ‘The Voyager’

Jenny Lewis is restless.  She’s been spring-cleaning a cluttered mind, suffering from retrospect, nostalgia, and an unsolicited unknown.  Clutching on to whatever magic is left, Jenny is twirling about in all black, contemplating mortality and her self-induced dizziness—all for the sake of precarious, unnerving personal growth. The Voyager’s opening anthem “Head Underwater” has the red-headed darling drowning herself, seeking self-preservation amid fanciful refrains. Never has there been a more jolly, gleaming suicide mission; and it ends in promising, enlightened reincarnation. “There’s a little bit of sand left in the hourglass,” she considers, and with that little bit, Jenny leaps into revelation and confession in her third solo LP.

In “She’s Not Me”, Jenny further indulges in her jestful wallow, reminiscing of the love she made with a man now expecting a child (Blake Sennett, presumably).  Then, she reveals that it was her who dropped the ball, succumbing to infidelous whim.  Jenny sorts out the consequences and a catharsis over melodies that feel fitted for a summer love ditty—not the sorrowful wintry mix of reconciliation.  Jenny is inviting everyone on her own personal voyage, an ardent journey compounded with unguarded actualization, intrinsic query, and catastrophic disillusion.  She struggles to belong in “Just One of the Guys” and skids down “Slippery Slopes” that feel an awful lot like Under the Backlight.

While this is no sonic departure from what would be assumed of Jenny, her story unveils delicate intricacy in her grey complexities and mastery of contradictory harmonic schemes. The Voyager is not a pity party, but an undressing in the post-apocalypse of romantic Armageddon.  Here stands a naked woman, sophisticated and wise, leaning more on indie rock patterns than her alternative country foundation as she traverses a classic emotional roller coaster. The production value is done with a tender chemistry, as the collaboration with Ryan Adams proves to be a winning coup, and Jenny emerges secure in her nudity.

Jenny is so passionately sincere. The Voyager is a visceral reflection on the breakup of Rilo Kiley and the death of her father.  It is courageous, like a sunrise after a dismaying, tearful night that lasted completely throughout her four year hiatus.  Rejoice, as Jenny has returned with resounding brilliance and sanguine, having trounced lingering heartbreak in favor of a hopeful divulgence.  She confides it all to her loyal listener-ship, and the disclosure was well worth the wait.

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