[midlife 150] #117: rilo kiley “with arms outstretched”

July 27, 2010

Album cover for The Execution Of All Things by Rilo Kiley

#117 With Arms Outstretched by Rilo Kiley, taken from The Execution Of All Things, 2002 [buy from We7]

A sublime mix of innocence (the music) and experience (the lyrics), With Arms Outstretched is a reminder that the wonder of now is what we’ve always been looking for, that even if it’s “16 miles to the promised land” there’s no reason not to seize the moment right there and then.

Rilo Kiley vocalist and songwriter Jenny Lewis doesn’t always hit the mark, but when she does – as here with co-writer and guitarist Blake Sennett – you immediately feel your emotions untangling, your priorities becoming clearer, your ideas becoming purer.

The sing-along simplicity of With Arms Outstretched has made it a live favourite, with the audience voicing its commitment as the song moves towards its communal conclusion. Even in the privacy of your own iPod, you feel you are not merely listening but somehow joining in.

This review is part of close to 94 ‘s [midlife 150] series, which counts down favourite music 1970-2009.


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