Album Review: Jeffrey Lewis – ‘A Turn In The Dream-Songs’

A wise departure from angstier mires of yore

If our ability to repeatedly make the same mistakes is part of what makes us human, then [a]Jeffrey Lewis[/a] makes the rest of us look like robots. The anti-folk pioneer’s sixth album for Rough Trade is a familiar comedy of errors, full of dusky textures with a sparkling hue of optimism. From ‘So What If I Couldn’t Take It’’s poison-guzzling neurotic who “Quickly turned on the cap/Out of concern for the rats”, to the ‘Cult Boyfriend’ without “A second date… or even first”, the New York artist breathlessly unspools literate tales of woe that ‘Flight Of The Conchords’ writers would slay for. Elsewhere capitalist-baiting fable ‘Krongu Green Slime’ (pure comic book-loving Jeff, that title) shows a maverick in his element. A wise departure from angstier mires of yore has rendered Jeff less cockle-warmingly funny, but razor-sharp gems like “Truth is stranger than fashion” as on ‘So What…’ prove that while the guy’s still writing lyrics for your bedroom wall, they’re at least getting less likely to scare off the visitors.

Jazz Monroe

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