Jeffrey Lewis

It's the Ones Who've Cracked That the Light Shines Through

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Jeffrey Lewis is a comic book writer and illustrator, which makes sense when you hear his intimate anti-folk narratives. It's the Ones Who've Cracked That the Light Shines Through sounds like the musical equivalent of a comic -- it's homespun, fractured, naïve, and innocent in the same manner as Daniel Johnston's music. From the bittersweet life story of "Back When I Was 4" to the acoustic thrash of "No LSD Tonight," Lewis traffics in epic streams of consciousness that are sad, hilarious, touching, and disturbing. On this, his sophomore full-length, Lewis broadens his sound, adding odd moments of viola and found recordings to his usual fingerpicking; but one listen to a track like "Don't Let the Record Company Take You Out to Lunch" proves that Lewis' music is as sparklingly lo-fi and homey as ever. A member of the same New York City scene as the Moldy Peaches (he did their cover art, after all), Lewis is far less scatological. His music sounds more genuine and heartfelt, without the alienation that accompanies some listeners' experiences with the Peaches. Overall, It's the Ones Who've Cracked sounds broken and lost, but there is a real beauty and sense of life in Lewis' music, which is captured even more impressively when he allows his sound to drift along with expanded instrumentation and splintering ambience.

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