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Pete Yorn – Pete Yorn

January 14, 2011 by  

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Pete Yorn – Pete Yorn

NAME: Pete Yorn
ALBUM: Pete Yorn
DATE: 7February2011

LABEL: Because Music

RATING: 4/5

FIVE WORD REVIEW: Simple Yet Effective Rollicking Fun

LOCATION: Salem, USA

LINE UP: Pete Yorn – Vocals, Guitar Frank Black – Production, Guitar

pete yorn.jpg

WHAT’S THE STORY?: Pete Yorn has been recieving critical acclaim for a decade now, consistantly releasing solid album after solid album and collaborating with everyone from the Dixie Chicks and the cuddly one from R.E.M (that’s Peter Buck to you and I but doesn’t the man look cuddly?) to, famously, Scarlett Johansson on the ‘Break Up’ record of 2009. Despite the many accolades flung his way, Yorn isn’t the most innovative of fellows, sticking firmly to the tried and true singer-songwriter formula that proved so successful on his debut, ‘musicforthemorningafter.’ If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Well perhaps. But for this eponymous record, enter the production skills of Frank Black, equally cuddly – but don’t hug him, he looks pretty grumpy – Pixies frontman and all round musical legend. This album was recorded in the summer of 2008 in a makeshift studio in less than a week, and Black thankfully leaves his trademark lo-fi aggression all over what would otherwise be quite a tame album..

SOUNDS LIKE: Be not afraid, Pete Yorn doesn’t start screaming maniacally and trashing his guitar. The unaffected simplicity and toe-tapping fun of his previous work is still at the heart here, but Black’s production gives an extra ‘oomph,’ and cranks the guitars up into a more spiky Pixies-esque feel in places. Indeed, the rough and ready production gives the record a low budget nineties grunge feel, particularly on the droning ‘Always’, in which Yorn attempts to channel Kurt Cobain and the raucous ‘Badman’ (Though I don’t believe soft-spoken Yorn really lives up to the song’s title..) The melodic nature of ‘Pete Yorn’ has much in common with recent Eels releases, combining infectious vocal lines with sharp, grinding riffs to great effect.

Single ‘Precious Stone’ kicks off the album and makes for a fitting introduction, acting as a sampler to all of what’s to come. Melodic and sweet lyrically, sparse yet powerful guitars fill out the background and compliment the singer’s quivering, gravelly voice. ‘Rock Crowd’ is a cheery, bouncy ode to fans, with enough reverb to create an almost live atmosphere. The rest of the album bops along in similar form, with plenty of head nodding tunes to be found. A highlight is the sweet and youthful ‘Velcro Shoes,’ the cutesy lyrics about trainers, dogs and treehouses offset somewhat jarringly with the relentless riffs of the background. This works wonders though, turning what would otherwise be pretty twee into a chugging rock song that wouldn’t be out of place on a soundtrack to a road movie. In fact the whole record has a distinctly summery, warm feel to it, as though the listener is being propelled down warm US highways at moderate speed. Even when tracks take on a darker role and wander into angry territory (alright, mildly irritated territory) it’s never for long. The light, smiling atmosphere reinstates itself soon enough.

No, this record won’t blow you away, but the collaboration works incredibly well; the styles of Yorn and Black merge seamlessly, creating an organic, straightforward album that lives up to both their impressive reputations.

YOU’LL LIKE THIS IF: You’re into Eels, The Pixies and singer-songwriters with a bit more bite.

LINK: http://www.peteyorn.com


Submitted By Nadia


 

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