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Classic Album Review

“The Execution Of All Things” by Rilo Kiley (Album Review)

ALBUM: “The Execution Of All Things” by Rilo Kiley

RELEASE YEAR: 2002

LABEL: Saddle Creek

RATING: 10/10

BEST TRACKS: “The Execution Of All Things” “A Better Son/Daughter” “Spectacular Views”

FCC: None

I first heard “The Execution of All Things” at some time during the simultaneous infinite expanse and blip of time that was quarantine/lockdown in 2020. Instantaneously, it became one of my favorite albums of all time and solidified Rilo Kiley as one of my favorite bands ever, although this was the first project I ever listened to by them. 

Jenny Lewis’ voice was made for indie-rock. I’ve tried listening to other projects of hers, but Rilo Kiley will forever be my favorite. Blake Sennett and her made magic with Rilo Kiley, and not much will ever compare in my opinion.

“The Execution Of All Things” is one of those albums that makes me wish I was a teenager in the early 2000s, instead of being just a mere year old at the time this album was released. It makes me envy those who were able to be angsty and mad at the world at the turn of the millennium. 

“The Good That Won’t Come Out” is one of my favorite introductory album tracks, ever. It sets the gather-round-the-campfire nature that seems to float in and out of the record with grace. The album touches on themes like failed love, anger at the government, hopelessness, California, anxiety and friendship.

Perhaps the best (or at least my favorite) aspect of this project is that it is tied together with a song called “And That’s How I Choose To Remember It.” Fragments of the song punctuate the end of “So Long,” “My Slumbering Heart,” and “Spectacular Views.”  Fans have strung it together, but it was never released as an individual track. The lyrics focus on Lewis’ childhood, her parent’s divorce and how to process that all. With production sounds like a lullaby or a dream, it perfectly reflects what it’s like to remember childhood.

Anything else I say will be repetitive and I’ve written plenty about my adoration for this band, so instead I will leave you with a collection of my favorite lyrics from the album:

  • “You’re weak, but not giving in / And you’ll fight it, you’ll go out fighting all of them” — “A Better Son/Daughter” 
  • “And it’s become just like a chemical stress / Tracing the lines in my face for / Something more beautiful than is there” — “My Slumbering Heart”
  • “And I hope that you close your eyes / Block out the pain of a thousand lives /I hope that you die tonight / Just close your eyes, there goes the light / Smile, I’ll brave it while you wave your hand” — “Three Hopeful Thoughts”
  • “You never knew why you felt so good / In the strangest of places / Like in waiting rooms / Or long lines that made you late / Or mall parking lots on holidays” — “Spectacular Views”
  • “Then you ask / “What’s a palisade?” / And if we’re too late / For happiness” — “Spectacular Views”

By Caitlin

Howdy, I'm Caitlin and I'm currently a junior in Communication Media. My favorite genres of music are pop and indie-rock, though I dabble in most genres. Hope you enjoy my content!