From what I've seen thus far, the most clear-sighted critique of Rilo Kiley's new single, "The Moneymaker", comes from MySpace user Morgan Manhandle's comments on the MySpaceTV video page where the song's video is now playing: "This sounds nothing like Rilo Kiley. I'm pissed."
Now, Morgan should be excused for her (his?) simplicity. As an ersatz Rilo Kiley fan, Morgan is justified for identifying the main issue at hand (the band's mystifying and decidedly un-Rilo Kiley turn in this song) and leaving it at that. I, on the other hand, parted ways with J-Lew and Co. sometime after their departure from the Saddle Creek Records mothership and I have never really looked back, with the exception of an eyebrow furrow aimed at the whole Watson Twins escapade. So it gives me no pains to take Morgan's critique one step further and note that not sounding like Rilo Kiley is only part of the problem. If Rilo Kiley suddenly sounded a lot more like the Cowboy Junkies or Wilco or something, then Morgan would just have to stop worrying and learn to love to bomb.
The fact of the matter is decidedly worse: like Lindsay Lohan going through Alison Goldfrapp's closet and then doing a cover of Gwen Stefani kind of worse. And that's why I'm bothering to even comment on a song by a band I don't pay much attention to these days. Because where the earlier Rilo Kiley material served a certain purpose for some people (especially if you found yourself scoring a short indie film about spunky, troubled young love in the wild-but-not-too-wild west), this Rilo Kiley seems bent on irritating people like me by rejecting emotionally evocative shimmer for...well, at least Jenny Lewis's top shimmers.
My guess is that the Jason Lader production had something to do with the Gwen Stefani angry/lusty attitude of the delivery. But I just can't imagine why Jenny Lewis would abandon her enviably crisp and clear sunshine of a voice for a shiny bra and a nervy "ohh-yeaah". Fame, I guess, is ugly...and shiny!
P.S. France is tight. Joyeux 14 juillet!