Jenny Lewis's rationale for recording a solo album is typically self-effacing. "I had a couple of thousand dollars that I'd saved up from touring," explains the singer best known for fronting Rilo Kiley, "and the stock market seems like a bust." But with a back-up roster comprising co-producer/ guitarist M Ward and members of Bright Eyes, Maroon 5, The Decemberists and Postal Service, her bets would appear well hedged with Rabbit Fur Coat, an immensely likeable album which uses the pristine harmonies of the Watson Twins to sweeten her sometimes bitter lyrical pills. Unlike most country records, a streak of religious scepticism runs through tracks such as "Big Guns" ("I'm not betting on the afterlife") and "Born Secular", while "Happy" offers a worldly wise commentary on the pursuit of happiness: "I worry about cancer and living right/ But my mama never warned me about my own destructive appetites". There's a relaxed assurance to the playing which ensures that even a cover as unhip as The Traveling Wilburys' "Handle With Care" sounds engaging.
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