Jenny Lewis may like the critical cred that came with recording for indies such as Saddle Creek, but the former child actress (she survived Camp Beverly Hills) clearly wants some adult stardom to pair with the kiddie kind. Blacklight, Rilo Kiley's first official CD for Warner Bros., is a blatantly commercial offering, albeit a retro one. If this was 1977, it'd be a surefire smash. How it'll fare in 2007 is anyone's guess. Producers Jason Lader and Dr. Dre protégé Mike Elizondo provide a backdrop that's spacious and precise, with an aural warmth that disguises its essential sterility. Musically, meanwhile, Lewis divides her loyalties between the old-school L.A. sound of "Dreamworld" and the studio dance music of "Dejalo." Throughout "The Moneymaker," a disco-driven porn-industry nod, and the underaged boink tale "15," Lewis ratchets up her sexuality — and she's never been known for her Sister Bertrille imitations. The combination is smart but calculating: It feels more like a means to an end than art for art's sake. Critical cred's fine, apparently, but banks won't exchange it for cash.
Rilo Kiley performs October 1 at Revolution.
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