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Jeffrey Lewis | It's The Ones Who've Cracked That The Light Shines Through (Rough Trade)
Labelmate Adam Green would do well to listen to Jeffrey Lewis' stream of consciousness narratives for an example of how to be hip and smart. What comic book creator Lewis lacks in vocal charm (hey, it never stopped Lou Reed), he makes up for with compelling, tumbling narratives and self-effacing comedy moments (like the self-referencing No LSD Tonight), over a finger-picked folk backdrop. Best track here, Don't Let The Record Label Take You Out To Lunch, exemplifies his approach, a frantic, practically spoken word delivery that's as amusing as it is insightful - "And try not to want people to like you too much / You'll just need more and more flatteries to recharge your batteries / And don't let showmanship get more important that honesty." With a word count to challenge a Bright Eyes album, 'The One's Who've Cracked' demands your attention and works best in bursts of concentrated listening, rather than as a single sitting experience.

Matt Dornan
CWAS #12 - Summer 2003