This CD cover image released by Little Record Company shows “Rkives,” by Rilo Kiley. (AP Photo/Little Record Company)
Rilo Kiley, “RKives” (Little Record Company)
Rilo Kiley has been pretty well broken up since 2010, and hasn’t released a new album since 2007. That trend of them not being a band continues, poorly, with “RKives,” a collection of unreleased tracks and B-sides that should have stayed that way.
Frontwoman Jenny Lewis stamps nearly every effort with her overbearing alt-rock ooze of vocals. Some songs stick in the brain for melodic reasons, like the hook on “It’ll Get You There” and the jangly guitar bits on “Runnin’ Around.”
But there’s a reason why much of this was once relegated to the cutting room floor. It’s simplistic and standard rock, with little personality to turn the newcomer into a Rilo Kiley fan.
One exception worth salvaging from the B-side purgatory is “Dejalo,” a perky little remix featuring the rapper Too Short. Lewis doesn’t venture from her comfort zone vocally, but at least she tries, which is more than can be said for the bulk of this album’s mundane material.