American Songsmith

With memories of Independence Day still lingering, now seemed like a good time to highlight a new album from one of my favorite American singer-songwriters. If nothing else, Pete Yorn proves that good things do sometimes come from New Jersey.  For what it’s worth, I was born in Princeton.

backandfourth Pete Yorn – Back & Fourth

I’ve read a few reviews describing this CD as a mellow, more acoustic turn for Mr. Yorn, but I don’t think that’s  quite accurate. This CD is not nearly as folky/acoustic as say, Jakob Dylan’s “Seeing Things.” On the contrary, electric is a critical element to several of the tracks, and “Last Summer” is a bona fide rocker.

Perhaps what the critics really mean by “mellow” is that Yorn sounds a little upset.  Regret and anger over lost love is a theme that runs through the album, moreso than any of his previous releases. But Yorn’s sincerity and penchant for stick-in-your-head hooks keeps Back and Fourth from feeling like a downer. He also keeps things concise with 10 tracks and a 42 minute running time. That’s a good thing, because as much as  I liked previous, hour-long efforts “MusicForTheMorningAfter” and “Nightcrawler,” I couldn’t help but feel the guy could have saved a couple tracks for B-Sides.

Check out “Last Summer” and “Social Development Dance” at Pete’s MySpace page.

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