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CD Review: Jenny Lewis' Acid Tongue

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The Deal: Rilo Kiley frontwoman releases sophomore solo effort.

The Good: It's a steadfast follow-up to her 2006 release, Rabbit Fur Coat. She's got plenty of guests in tow – Elvis Costello, The Black Crowes' Chris Robinson, Zooey Deschanel, Paz Lenchantin and Charlotte's own Benji Hughes. "The Next Messiah" is a long country rumbler – nearly nine minutes long – featuring the vocals of Hughes, Deschanel and Robinson in the background. Robinson also appears on "Acid Tongue," as part of a group vocal providing the backup. Lewis' vocals shine throughout the album – her sweet, yet sultry, voice shows range and her songwriting provides the depth. There is a good bit of string arrangements, giving the album a different feel than Rabbit. There's almost an old-school, soul groove to "Bad Man's World" while there's a kicked-up beat – almost rockabilly – in "See Fernando." Costello duets on "Carpetbaggers," and his vocals were the lone weak spot on the disc – the duets were great, but his solo verses left something to be desired.

The Bad: No complaints – it gets better with every listen, except for those brief Costello moments.

The Verdict: There's a slightly different feel than her first disc, but Acid Tongue is just as good. The guests aren't overwhelming despite their numbers and presence on so many tracks. Lewis remains the focus of 11 fantastic tracks.

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