released August 31st, 2010
from the album - Scissor Runner
from all music
Jenny Lewis and Jonathan Rice began working together in 2005, when Rice made a guest appearance on Lewisí first solo album, Rabbit Fur Coat. Lewis returned the favor by singing on Riceís own solo debut, Trouble is Real, and the two continued their partnership when Rice joined Lewisí touring band the following year. Following the Rabbit Fur Coat tour, Lewis and Rice began living together in Silverlake and working on new projects, including Riceís sophomore effort Further North, Lewisí Acid Tongue, and the Elvis Costello record Momofuku.
While touring in support of Acid Tongue, the two found themselves writing songs that were quicker and poppier than their previous material. Rather than release the new music on their respective solo albums, they formed Jenny and Johnny and traveled to Omaha, NE, where they spent the winter of 2009 recording a full album with Mike Mogis. The duo made their official debut one year later, when Iím Having Fun Now was released in August.
Certainly, the title Iím Having Fun Now is a good indication of what the first album by LA lovebirds Jenny Lewis and Johnathan Rice is all about. Lewis may be regarded as one of the finest singer/songwriters of her generation but her ambitions are kept in check here: all she wants to do is have some fun and maybe get some people to pay attention to her longtime boyfriend who has had several attempts at the brass ring ó most notably the major-label 2007 Further North, which did get him some play on the OC ó but has never managed to grab it. An album-length duet with Jenny does force Lewis admirers to pay attention to Johnny but Iím Having Fun Now doesnít do him any enormous favors. Heís handily overshadowed by Lewis who has a professionalís knack for grabbing the spotlight even as sheís seeming to step away from it. Whenever sheís out front, Iím Having Fun Now kicks into gear, its unassuming country-rockers given gas by her natural ease and it sputters whenever he steps to the mike, losing its momentum and focus. Riceís voice is too sweet and thin to command on his own and when heís paired with Lewis heís simply steamrolled, fading into the background like a second acoustic guitar. So, as a career-boost for Rice, Iím Having Fun Now doesnít quite work but itís an unforced good time anyway. Itís of piece with Acid Tongue, carved from its same country-rock, but its not weighed down by rustic mythology, it substitutes pop flair for roots-rock. Its casualness sometimes surfaces in its tossed-off jokes or sing-song melodies, but that only underscores that Jenny & Johnny are having a good time ó and itís a good time thatís easy to share even if one of the hosts doesnít quite hold up his own end of the bargain.
1 Scissor Runner Jenny and Johnny 2:58
2 My Pet Snakes Jenny and Johnny 3:37
3 Switchblade Jenny and Johnny 3:35
4 Big Wave Jenny and Johnny 3:53
5 While Men Are Dreaming Jenny and Johnny 2:23
6 Animal Jenny and Johnny 3:40
7 Just Like Zeus Jenny and Johnny 2:39
8 New Yorker Cartoon Jenny and Johnny 4:14
9 Straight Edge of the Blade Jenny and Johnny 3:51
10 Slavedriver Jenny and Johnny 2:13
11 Committed Jenny and Johnny 2:44