When child actress Jenny Lewis first appeared on television in the mid 1980s, she seemed to have a knack for the entertainment business. The youngster would go on to appear in fan favorite television shows such as “The Golden Girls”, “Growing Pains”, and “Roseanne”, but in the end it was the airwaves rather than the camera that would capture the entertainer’s interest. Presented with a mix-tape as a gift from fellow child actor Corey Haim, Lewis began to fall in love with music, and would eventually credit this moment as the spark that ignited the wildfire of her current musical career.
In 1998 Lewis formed the cult favorite band Rilo Kiley. The band released four albums in 13 years, toured with Coldplay, and gained notoriety across indie music circles. For Lewis, Rilo Kiley’s success, complimented by an invitation to collaborate with Ben Gibbard as the female vocalist for The Postal Service, catapulted the former child star onto the throne of indie-rock royalty. Long before Zooey Deschanel made the transition from Hollywood actress to rock star, Lewis had paved the way.
Toward Rilo Kiley’s waning years, Lewis began to write music under her own name as part of her solo project. Now 38 years old, Lewis has released her third, and most promising solo album yet. “The Voyager” solidifies prior notions that Lewis may just be one of the best singer-songwriter’s the music scene has to offer. The indie-rock icon has struck gold with her new album, and has truly found her sound with a fusion between pop, rock, indie, and country elements that creates a perfect amalgamation of musical methods. What makes the album all the more special is the poignant nature of the lyrics, which serve as a looking glass into the mindset of Lewis as a woman. The songs discuss past loves, romance, the death of Lewis’ father, the breakup of her first band, and the frustrations of being a woman on the doorstep of 40 years old without a husband and children.
But do not let the fragile nature of the lyrics fool you, “The Voyager” is stuffed with some extremely melodic, and downright fun songs. Since dropping last week, the album has been receiving rave reviews, so positive in fact that “The Voyager” just may tip the scale in the direction of mainstream stardom for Lewis. The record has created quite the splash already. On its first day of release, “The Voyager” was on the top 10 list for most downloaded albums on iTunes. Anne Hathaway and Kristen Stewart stared in the filming of the music video for the single “Just One of the Guys”. Perhaps most impressive, however, is that Jenny Lewis was even given the opportunity to create her own wine in anticipation of the release of the new album. The Voyager Wine is $29.99 (which includes a free link to download the album). The buzz is not unwarranted, “The Voyager” is Jenny Lewis’ magnum opus.
For those Tucsonans who wish to see Lewis perform “The Voyager” live in concert, the musician will be playing tonight (Aug. 6) at The Rialto Theater.