Rhythm & Views

The Elected

The side projects of those behind San Diego's Rilo Kiley have less in common than one would think--Jenny Lewis' Rabbit Fur Coat is the indie-rock flavor of the month, but you probably had no idea that Blake Sennett's other project, The Elected, just released its second album. They may both be fashionably country; however, while Lewis' record, according to our Michael Petitti, "straddles the line between success and failure," Sennett's is successful song after song.

Sun, Sun, Sun works because it doesn't attempt to be anything more than what it is--a side-project record, an outlet for Sennett's less-sparkly songs. "You've got a hunting cap on, you're up at dawn with me / but we don't shoot at deer, so we just sit right here and sing," sings Sennett at the beginning of "Would You Come With Me," and it serves as an invocation to the listener--The Elected is not going to "shoot at deer," but sing songs of warmth sweetly.

Sun, Sun, Sun sounds at times like a Bright Eyes record with smoother edges and softer vocals--as on "Desiree," for example--but then "Not Going Home" explodes four songs in with major reverb on the epic guitar melody, the bass line played on piano and Sennett singing, "Sometimes you can't go home; sometimes you're already there." After "Not Going Home," the album stays in a quieter mode, but doesn't lose its momentum. "Did Me Good" is bluesy, with trumpets on the chorus, and an organ accentuating the verse lyrics. This is an optimistic record, its face turned toward the sun.

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