Rilo Kiley, The Execution of All Things

Ian Cohen

By Ian Cohen

on 07.11.11 in Reviews
Jenny Lewis and co. at their best

“And we’ll go to Omaha to work and exploit the booming music scene.” Jenny Lewis delivers this line on the title track of The Execution of All Things with typically biting sarcasm, but nearly a decade later, it’s hard to know what to make of it. On the one hand, Rilo Kiley were consummate outsiders on this label possibly looking for a cred grab, a careerist Los Angeles band whose principal songwriters were former child actors. On the other, Saddle Creek got the better end of the deal, releasing Rilo Kiley’s only great record before they jumped to Warner Bros. and had their charm, humor, wit, personality, hooks and endearing scrappiness glossed over like a Zamboni. But in 2003, they fretted about deforestation, their capacity for drunken embarrassment and disappointing their parents and for 45 minutes, they fit right in as super-talented and expressive 20-somethings who had everything to live for and no idea how to react to it.