Sunday, September 17, 2006

Music Review -- Nightcrawler by Pete Yorn

Pete Yorn has created the follow up to 2002’s awesome modern rock album Musicforthemorningafter and 2003’s folkier Day I Forgot. While the debut disc was mostly a look at relationships and regret and his sophomore disc was more about stories from everyday life, Nightcrawler is about the nervous energy and ups and downs of nightlife. Yorn mostly abandons the rootsier sound of Day I Forgot and his writing is not nearly as consistent as in the past. Nightcrawler took quite a few listens for me to get used to it and understand what Yorn was trying to do here. The first few songs are buzzy rock songs that are muddled and do not seem to click. Yorn really does not hit his stride until track five, a folk song called The Man. Starting with The Man, the disc starts to seem like a natural progression from his debut, except that I’m surprised that he chose to make such an unforgiving rock album. Playing most of the instruments himself, and performing a bevy of melodic rock songs makes this album really click, despite the troubled beginning.

The disc really takes off with my favorite, Maybe I’m Right. One of the most upbeat and positive songs (and somewhat corny, but still cool) it is a great rocker with Yorn crooning, “Maybe I'm right, right on/ I said, "Hey, baby, baby, baby, I'll take you tonight."/ And I'll see you on the other side, sugar/ Your pleasant face, your crooked smile/ Maybe tomorrow is a lifetime away.” While not as deep as earlier efforts, Nighcrawler has some good writing and often has his characters feeling lonely in a crowded and busy life. It was not as I expected, but Pete Yorn fans, who especially those who liked Musicforthemorningafter should enjoy this as well. Yorn's voice is quite emotive and drives several of these songs to a great sound nearly on its own. Those who like melodic rock and Brit-rock like Razorlight, the Dandy Warhols and the Charlatans U.K. should also be in to this. Oh, and I suggest buying the disc with two "bonus" songs, which makes this a long 16-track album.

2.75 out of 4.00 on the Vin Swanson Scale.

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