Jenny and Johnny – I’m Having Fun Now

January 01, 1970

(Warner Bros.)


Let’s count the
ways Jenny Lewis and Johnathan Rice are having fun as Jenny and Johnny: By
writing rootsy rock songs, sprinkled with a few low-key ballads. By splitting
or sharing the lead vocal chores, thereby lessening the pressure of making
another Lewis solo album, heightening Rice’s profile and affirming their
off-stage relationship (this one’s more She & He than She & Him). By
reconnecting with producer Mike Mogis, with whom Lewis worked on the best Rilo
Kiley records. By allowing themselves to be silly and snarky, often about
stardom (“Up on Olympus, living on a pile of trash, with all the lunatics, oh
how they worship me,” sings Lewis on “Just Like Zeus”; “Committed, committed, I
need to be committed, I need to be locked away,” sings Rice on “Committed”). By
keeping the album brief: eleven songs, 36 minutes.


Lewis’ and Rice’s
individual work in the past has been serious, literate and multi-dimensional; I’m
Having Fun Now
is lighthearted, literal and straightforward. And, indeed,
fun. There’s a whiff of slumming here, of lowered expectations, but it’s easy
to hear how much Lewis and Rice enjoy singing together.


DOWNLOAD: “My Pet Snakes,” “Big Wave” STEVE KLINGE



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