Bumbershoot Review: Jenny and Johnny Are Sweet, But They're No Rilo Kiley

Who: Jenny and Johnny

When: 6:45 p.m. Monday

Where: Starbucks Stage

The songs Jenny Lewis once wrote for her band Rilo Kiley resonated powerfully -- the angst of feeling like a broke fuck-up, the raw, uncensored take on dysfunctional relationships of all kinds -- but somehow, nothing of hers has ever been able to top Take-offs and Landings or The Execution of All Things. Jenny Lewis has collaborated with a lot of folks since then, but none of the music she's made with any of those people resonate for me the same way those two records did. Still, the songs she's written with her boyfriend Johnathan Rice are enjoyable, more or less straightforward pop songs with some blues thrown in for fun. No, they're not groundbreaking, but experienced in person, Jenny and Johnny's songs are just as likable and charming as Lewis herself, and sometimes, that's enough. "Big Wave," their record's (it's called I'm Having Fun Now)first single, isn't my favorite track -- it's an obvious pop radio grab -- but people in the audience were obviously feeling it, as an impromptu hippie dance party taking place on the lawn back behind the standers seemed to prove. And the set's closer, a cover of "Love Hurts," managed to be moving instead of maudlin. There's something to this: let's hope their next collaboration is a little less safe and a little more....adventurous.

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