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Jenny and Johnny album review

Jenny and Johnny’s new album offers a different take on the boyfriend/girlfriend collaboration

Jenny Lewis and Johnathan Rice have been making music for years, but now, they’re having fun.  The boyfriend/girlfriend collaboration, Jenny and Johnny, released “I’m Having Fun Now” in August of 2010 .

The album, produced in the middle of the worst Nebraskan winter since the 1860’s, was recorded at ARC Studios with Mike Mogis  (of “Bright Eyes” and “Monsters of Folk”)

The album originally came about from the work of mainly Rice and Lewis, with a few collaborations from bandmate Jason Boesel (“Rilo Kiley”, “Bright Eyes”) on drums and Pierre De Reeder (also from Rilo Kiley) as the track/demo engineer .

What is so intriguing about “I’m Having Fun Now” is that it has a She & Him vibe, due to the distinct folk sound of Lewis’ voice entwined with Rice’s corresponding droning vocals.  Mixed in with this is a sometimes dreamy, half-stoned sound similar to Beach House’s album “Teen Dream” and Surfer Blood-esque guitar riffs (especially in tracks “Just Like Zeus”, “My Pet Snake” and “Slavedriver”). These alternative elements blended together seamlessly to form a satisfying, indie album. 

Do not be fooled into thinking that this record is just another typical boyfriend/girlfriend collaboration, since there is a distinct underlying bite in Jenny and Johnny’s sweet sound. The upbeat song “My Pet Snake” is filled with Lewis’ lyrics about how she does not “believe in sucking your way to the top,” and trying, “everything from heroin to Guinness.”  “Big Wave”, possibly the catchiest track on the album, even touches the underlying issues of bankruptcy in California

Jenny and Johnny are just too cool for the standard lame, bubble gum love songs, and the addition of these lyrics clears away any skepticism of “I’m Having Fun Now” falling into the category of another typical heartbreak album. Essentially, this record is a necessary buy for anyone who likes good, catchy songs.

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