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Rilo Kiley



Rilo Kiley will come as something of a surprise. A surface listen to songs like "With Arms Outstretched" suggests a playful jaunt through all things indie and country. You know, Blast Off Country Style style. But more careful listening reveals that while there is a strong alt-country influence, there's also an innate somber resignation that helps explain the band's place on Saddle Creek Records (given that they're from LA, not Omaha).

Their music offers a blend of solid songwriting, careful lyrics, sweet vocals, and a range of emotions, all often suggesting Scotland's The Delgados. On "Paint's Peeling," when Jenny Lewis sings "I'm not going back to the assholes that made me/and the perfect display of random acts of hopelessness/I wish I could stay here but I think we're all ready/I think we're all ready. And I feel nothing, not safe/It's a hard day for dreaming again," any initial impression of playfulness is quickly dispelled.

Rilo Kiley balances power, sadness, and playfulness in ways that labelmate Bright Eyes often fails to do. Execution Of All Things plays like a good mixtape, taking you on a nice emotional trip and leaving you satisfied.