Years back when Rilo Kiley came through the Meow Meow a slew of the band's fans presented them--mid-show--with a large homemade "We (Heart) Rilo Kiley" sign. Loved by most anyone with a pulse, they were the type of band you made arts & crafts for.

So what the fuck happened?

When Team-Love released Jenny Lewis' debut solo effort, Rabbit Fur Coat, in 2006, they made the record a free download (except the Traveling Wilburys cover, because the ghost of Roy Orbison will haunt your family if you download his music without paying for it). As expected, the record was a huge success, propelling Lewis to a larger position than her fellow Rilo bandmates and establishing her as a respected solo performer. Now Lewis is on the cusp of releasing solo album number two, Acid Tongue, but this time it's on Warner Bros, and there is a slight difference on how this record is being released...

First off, this is how the record arrived:

Uh-oh, looks like someone in Legal got to write the copy again. These vaguely threatening watermarked CDs are common these days, and while I understand why labels want them, they don't really function as intended (the album leaked this weekend). My watermarked copy of Acid Tongue does not play on my home stereo, nor will I even attempt to insert it into my computer. It works fine in my car stereo, which means I can listen to the album in a pair of six-minute intervals on my way to, and from, work everyday. Pray for traffic Jenny Lewis, because that is the only way I can listen to another song. This is one of the reasons why Acid Tongue won't be as successful as Rabbit Fur Coat.

The other? It's a pretty terrible album. Much like the audio trainwreck that was Under the Blacklight, the baffling 2007 release from Rilo Kiley, this album is directionless and confusing. Hell, Lewis doesn't even sound like herself until five songs deep, the title track is the first listenable moment of Acid Tongue, and the cameos (Elvis Costello, Zooey Deschanel, and the tall dude from Black Crowes) don't pull their weight. Songs like "The Next Messiah" and "Black Sand" aimlessly meander, and lack the charm and homespun charisma of her previous work. Perhaps I'm a little biased--seeing how I have to limit my listening experience to time spent behind the wheel--but all I think about when listening to this stale recording is how I miss that band who took the Meow Meow stage so many years ago.

This is the part of the blog post where I'd normally post a song, but since the CD won't play on my computer, here is some audio of a kitten purring. Seriously.

"Purring Kitten"