August just refuses -- in any ungodly way possible -- to go away. We're cursed with 31 days of the month, and today, the last and final day of this mess, just had to fall on a Tuesday. What does that mean? Another ho-hum batch of new releases, this time lead by Jenny & Johnny's I'm Having Fun Now. If it were up to me, I would have written about The Best of Gerald Levert, but that's a compilation. No dice on the former LSG member, leaving me with Jenny and Johnny -- She & Him's bastard cousin and rather outspoken Arizona boycotters. What a treat. At least one of them (Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis) was in the seminal 1989 extended Super Mario Bros 3 commercial The Wizard.
Click Track: "Their twinkly debut, "I'm Having Fun Now," offers a glimpse of an alternate universe: This is what would have happened to She & Him if they'd listened to early Tom Petty and Laurel Canyon folk instead of Lee Hazlewood and Brenda Lee."
Pop & Hiss: "Jenny & Johnny represent a different situation. In this couple, the woman is the powerhouse and the man, though forceful in his own ways, rises to her challenges. Jenny Lewis and Johnathan Rice have been creatively and romantically involved for half a decade; the lady, one of indie's most successful thinking beauties, is the bigger star. Maybe that's why this project, though lighthearted, has some of the prickliness of a real day-to-day relationship."
Spin: "Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis and singer-songwriter/boyfriend Johnathan Rice have both had their moments of pure-pop confection in the past, but never as crazily delicious as here. Bright Eyes' Mike Mogis burnishes the doomy sentiments about domestic serpents and sharp instruments with a deceptive gloss, so you won't notice the acid aftertaste until much, much later."
Entertainment Weekly: "Brought together by a shared love of crisp boy-girl harmonies and ultra-hummable, '60s-inspired melodies, they sound Cracker Jack sweet on I'm Having Fun Now even when they're feeling bitter."
I'm Having Fun Now is out now via Warner Bros.