Jenny and Johnny are having fun, and they want you to join in. Jenny and Johnny are the musically inclined lovebirds, Jenny Lewis (of Rilo Kiley) and Jonathan Rice, who’s meet-cute included an introduction by mutual friend Conor Oberst. Since then, the pair have been practically inseparable, collaborating both inside and outside the studio. Rice appeared on and toured in support of both of Lewis’ solo albums, Rabbit Fur Coat and Acid Tongue, even co-producing 2008’s Acid Tongue.
I’m Having Fun Now, the duo’s debut outing as Jenny and Johnny, combines bright harmonies and smart songwriting to create surprisingly sunny pop gems. But just under the sun-soaked surface, you will find dark lyrics that tell a completely different story. Big Wave chronicles the economic demise of Lewis’ beloved California: “Livin’ your life in the grey / is the new American way / we’re spendin’ what we haven’t made / And we save our money in good faith / and we work hard for our livin’ wage / but still the bank’s gotta break” While Animal serves as a platform for Rice to share his opinion on organized religion. And even sadomasochism gets its glossy Jenny and Johnny makeover on Slavedriver: “There are so many ways to please your lover / I speak when spoken to / I sweep the ashes / I get my sweet reward / on forty lashes”
The album is most successful on its tighter succinct pop songs such as Scissor Runner, My Pet Snakes, and Big Wave, but a few lulls in the track listing hinder I’m Having Fun Now’s forward momentum. One thing is clear: Lewis and Rice’s chemistry on the album is palpable, and by the sound of it, they’re definitely having fun now.
Timbre Tantrum’s album rating 3.5 out of 5 stars
Jenny and Johnny are doing an in-store performance TONIGHT (8/31/10) at Amoeba Hollywood at 6 PM. Arrive early, because this show will be packed to the gills. Get more info on the Amoeba in-store, HERE. Amoeba in-store performances are always FREE and all ages.
Also, Jenny and Johnny just announced a new headlining show in Los Angeles at The Troubadour, Tuesday, October 6th. Tickets go on sale this Thursday, September 2nd @ 1 PM PST. Click HERE for ticket info, and check The Troubadour’s concert calender HERE for more show info as it becomes available.
I’m Having Fun Now Track Listing:
01. Scissor Runner
02. My Pet Snakes
04. Big Wave
05. While Men Are Dreaming
07. Just Like Zeus
08. New York Cartoon
09. Straight Edge of the Blade