Under the Blacklight finds Rilo Kiley sounding laid back and feeling sorta groovy. In the past, the band dabbled in country, electronics, indie pop, r&b, etc. The band still has a lot of those things going on, but somehow all those influences sound a lot more homogenized this time around. Maybe that's just the sound of a band becoming more focused and finding their element, but I can't help feeling there's something missing from the songs themselves. They just don't have the emotional immediacy I normally love about Rilo Kiley tunes.
Everyone from Pitchfork to Rolling Stone has drawn comparisons to Fleetwood Mac for parts of the album, particularly on the Blake Sennett-sung "Dreamworld." They point this out as a, "Hey, isn't that interesting" sort of comparison, but honestly Fleetwood Mac is one of those bands that make my face scrunch up in a way I normally reserve for sour candy. I actually think "Dreamworld" is one of the better songs on the album, but overall I still feel the band is taking a direction that I can't get behind.
Before this starts to sound really negative, I should add that the album has its share of good moments, but they'll need repeat listening to uncover and appreciate. I'm not a huge fan of this funkier Rilo Kiley, but at least they still have a few good hooks, a couple of standout tracks (the opening "Silver Lining" deserves a spot on a future greatest hits album), and the big voice of Jenny Lewis on their side. I can always get behind that.
Youtube: The Moneymaker
MP3: The Execution of All Things (via Saddle Creek)
MySpace: Rilo Kiley (includes samples of new tracks)
Official Site: Rilo Kiley