In a sense, More Adventurous is what Rilo Kiley has been building toward since the rickety country licks of 2001's Take Offs and Landings and the sugar-spun indie-pop heartbreak of 2002's The Execution of All Things. The L.A. band's first disc on its own imprint is a startling modernization of torch and twang, amped up to eleven by rock-riffing, lush production, and twinkling orchestration.
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Anchored by Jenny Lewis's clear-as-a-bell sweetness, "I Never" starts with gooey strings and Patsy Cline cooing, and ends in a raucous guitar solo that screams vintage Boston. "It's a Hit" adds a shower of jaunty horns to its dusty twang, and guitarist-vocalist Blake Sennett's own composition, "Ripchord," is the soundtrack to a lo-fi luau.
But not everything here takes its cue from country greats. Highlights such as "Portions for Foxes" and the New Pornographers-style "Love and War (11/11/46)" flex their new-wave power-pop muscles, while Dntel's Jimmy Tamborello infuses "Accidntel Deth" with heartbeat bloops and jerky robot rhythms. Sure, Rilo Kiley's genre-splicing occasionally makes More Adventurous feel a bit crowded and jumbled, but the bigger, brighter sound hasn't diminished the quirky heart that makes this band deserving of great things.