Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Uncut
    A dozen remarkable tracks. [Feb 2006, p.78]
  2. 100
    It's [Lewis'] powerful voice and compelling storytelling... that makes the songs of busted relationships and failed faith really sting.
  3. Entertainment Weekly
    Consider Lewis the Emmylou Harris of the Silverlake set. [3 Feb 2006, p.70]
  4. Though the singer-with-backup music relies on formula that won't set anyone's life straight, her melodic chops--sweet as a writer, supple as a singer--put the songs across.
  5. You know it's special from the first bars.
  6. An album of rich country, folk, and gospel music.
  7. Lewis draws from country and pop to build indelible songs around some capital "T" themes.
  8. She benefits from solid production by Saddle Creek staple Mike Mogis, who tweaks her retro sound with synths and electronic blips, but it's the stark M. Ward-produced tracks that, while more traditional, showcase the Dolly Parton potential in Lewis's voice.
  9. Under The Radar
    A folksy, crooning, homespun collection of intimate, honest, and bittersweet songs that actually doesn't sound like the Rilo Kiley canon. [#12, p.92]
  10. Q Magazine
    The real stars... are Lewis's songs. [Feb 2006, p.103]
  11. Blender
    The record has the relationship to "genuine" roots music that its titular ratty heirloom implies--it's a perfect fake, dyed to match the sensibility of a skeptic who won't give up. [Mar 2006, p.108]
  12. Using acoustic country gospel to explore the doubt-ridden downside of faith and her weakness to "my own destructive appetites," Lewis enlists Nashville twins Chandra and Leigh Watson to soften her sharp words with sparkling harmonies.
  13. Rabbit Fur Coat is an album of easy strumming and likeable melodies, a PG distillation of vintage country influences and the Watson Twin’s spot-on gospel harmonies.
  14. Billboard
    She is grappling with issues of faith, but she is charmingly skeptical. [28 Jan 2006]
  15. It's a moody, atmospheric listen that never gets quite as melancholy as it suggests and holds together better than any Rilo Kiley album to date.
  16. Rolling Stone
    Her girlishly seductive vocals are more versatile than ever. [9 Feb 2006, p.62]
  17. A left-of-center delight that will tide over the Rilo Kiley faithful until their next album.
  18. On repeated listens, the songwriting makes the album lukewarm.
  19. Alternative Press
    Lewis still sounds like she's trying to figure out where she belongs. [Feb 2006, p.118]
  20. The playing and production... is pretty, but neither edgy enough to grip nor a glossy enough vehicle for the songs' elegant subversions to hit home.
  21. The overall effect is of an album written and recorded on prozac that never achieves the emotional highs or the lows needed to make this kind of country soul great.
  22. I'll keep conceding to Jenny Lewis's voice any day. It's amazing. It could bring the rafters of any church down. But the material it takes up on Rabbit Fur Coat is boring.
  23. Mojo
    Pretty, but pointless. [Feb 2006, p.95]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 58 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 43
  2. Negative: 4 out of 43
  1. Feb 2, 2012
    It's a bit left of the middle, but there is no getting away from the fact that this is a folky record. It takes happy go lucky story tellingIt's a bit left of the middle, but there is no getting away from the fact that this is a folky record. It takes happy go lucky story telling folk and turns it on it's side. Conor Oberst collaborates on the cover of Handle With Care, and Jenny Lewis comes from a similar school of song writing. If you like him, you'll like this record. It's no classic or must have, but it is worth a listen. Full Review »
  2. JeremyF
    Jun 24, 2007
    Jenny Lewis is best known for her widely loved indie band Rilo Kiley. We all know her as a sweet voiced woman with extremely incredible Jenny Lewis is best known for her widely loved indie band Rilo Kiley. We all know her as a sweet voiced woman with extremely incredible writing talents. Her first solo departure is just that - a departure. She gathers up a few of her friends, including sweet country gals the Watson Twins, and sits herself in a minute country envelope. It's not quite country, it's still got her Lewis touch, an indie/alt-country, if you will. But it is countried up enough to be unlikeable. I hate country music. The only one, besides Lewis, that I enjoy is Neko Case, and she's alt-country as well. Lewis takes on multiple sad journeys but the lyrics are so compelling it's hard to dislike it. I like how God is mentioned a lot but each time it's kind of upsetting ("But what if God's not there? / But his name is on your dollar bill..." in The Charging Sky, or "He gives and takes... from me" in Born Secular.) I think this is a fine solo debut, with a few minimal falters. The best songs, Happy and It Wasn't Me, really stand out among the others, with their sad but I-can-feel-that lyrics. Another stand out is the title track with its "is it real or fake?" quality. I would much rather listen to Rilo Kiley, but this is a fine fine album and I think she is a beautiful musician with no reason to slow down any time soon. Magnificent woman, Lewis is. Full Review »
  3. ChrisF
    Feb 27, 2007
    Really good, yes not happy songs but there's enough plastic ,smiley make beleive out there.