Pete Yorn - Music for the Morning After (Columbia, 2001)
After an initial listen to MFTMA I can say that I really quite like Yorn's songwriting but I find his vocal quality somewhat lacking. There's a laziness to the vocals that manages to somehow undermine the simple greatness of tracks like 'Black' or the fantastic 'Lose You'. He comes off so much stronger on tracks like 'For Nancy (cuz it already is)', 'Closet' and 'Sense', perhaps because the music is more aggressive and he steps up and brings a bit more punch to his performance. Still, guys like Elliott Smith (R.I.P.), Duncan Sheik, Cary Brothers and Micah Green - who are some of my favourite male singer/songwriters - all do a better job of it than Yorn does on this album. It's not a bad record, and it probably will get repeated listening, just not steady rotation like some others would.
Stand Out Tracks
Lush - Split (4AD, 1993)
I got the desire to try these guys out when Steve Lamacq, of BBC Radio's Alt Rock show, referred to my wonderful Stars as a much mellower version of Lush. Well, anyone who sounds remotely like Stars is going to get the attention it deserves from me, so I sought them out, eventually landing their 1993 offering, Split.
Initially, I was going to trash this album but I've kind of had a change of heart after giving it a second listen to. I think I was listening to it originally with the intention of getting another Stars-like band out of the bargain, and that was a mistake. Once I got the gum out of my ears and really listened to Split I started to get it in a way I hadn't previously. Musically, Lush reminds me of bands like Cocteau Twins, The Cure and Medicine, putting across a dream-pop noise-rock vibe with grinding guitars, thumping and rhythmic bass lines, and wispy, ethereal vocals combined with reflective and sometimes melencholy lyrics. It's good stuff and I'm likely to seek out more of it when I can.
Stand Out Tracks
'Light from a Dead Star'
That's it for my musical musings this time. I'll probably do another one of these as time and CDs permit.