Reviews

The Execution of All Things

10/22/2002 | 30music.com | www.30music.com | Album Review
It's official. Rilo Kiley is a Saddle Creek band. And you know what that means. Yep, a first rate recording at the infamous Presto! Studios, Mike Mogis in control of the board and the loveable cast of Saddle Creekians to help play the instruments. It has become customary that when you pick up a Saddle Creek release you get all these cultivated features. Rilo Kiley's latest, The Execution Of All Things delivers all this along with a breath of fresh air to the well-known Saddle Creek roster.

With Jenny Lewis and Black Sennet at the band's core, Rilo Kiley embark upon twelve tracks of twangy, diverse pop. The band explores cunning musical structures while paying close attention to simplicity throughout the album. The record begins with Lewis timidly singing over a faint backbeat before being stimulated by an outburst of noise. From there on The Execution Of All Things progresses to dispense blissful melodies beneath Lewis' sweet voice - and we get to hear from some familiar talents. Gretta Cohn of Cursive works her cello into the mix on the title track as Lewis lets us know they are truly a part of this intricate scene. "Then we'll go to Omaha, to work and exploit the booming music scene" is sarcastically sung. She could be serious. Let's hope not. The singing duties switch over to Sennet, who broadcasts a tranquil vocal melody on "So Long." It is here where we get to hear from Tim Kasher of Cursive. He blends in an old-fashioned accordion to the sorrowing tune.

A Saddle Creek release just would not be complete without hearing from Bright Eyes Boy Wonder Conor Oberst -- especially one that is so collectively based. Rilo Kiley wouldn't leave him out would they? Hell no. Oberst's cameo comes on the optimistic "With Arms Outstretched" as part of the boy choir. He is joined by AJ Mogis, Jason Boesel and Sennet. More drunken choir rants for your listening pleasure-this time with hand claps. Prior to ending their Saddle Creek debut with the reoccurring circus noise that regularly haunts the record, Rilo Kiley blast through "Spectacular Views." This song rocks and rolls with miscellaneous noises from all over the board.

Rilo Kiley have joined the ranks of some of the most cherished indie bands on the market with The Execution Of All Things. Even though they aren't from Omaha, it's hard to notice. They worked it out just fine.