|Pete Yorn - Day I Forgot|
|Music Disc Reviews Audio CD|
|Written by Paul Lingas|
|Tuesday, 15 April 2003|
Columbia Records, 2002
| Performance 7.5 | Sound 6.5 |
Pete Yorn’s music is the sort that one will hear while watching the WB network: catchy, melodic, and containing its share of angst. In fact, Yorn’s songs have been featured on “Felicity,” “Dawson’s Creek” and other WB mainstays. Born in New Jersey and transplanted to L.A., Yorn lists The Smiths, T-Rex, Velvet Underground and other U.K. goodies as influences, though they don’t really seem to occupy much space in his music.
This follow-up to Yorn’s debut album, musicforthemorningafter, is pretty standard fare, and while it is pretty good, the only real differences within the album are between songs that are ballads or rock, except that they apparently couldn’t decide which was which. Yorn seems to lean towards upbeat ballads, but often the music is overshadowed by guitars, drums, and other overproduced sounds.
“Come Back Home” is an upbeat, somewhat rocky song, though it sounds like most generic rock nowadays and is overproduced, like much of the album. “Long Way Down” and “Crystal Village” have good melodies, the latter like an upbeat ballad with a nice, plucked acoustic guitar in the background. “Pass Me By” and “Committed” are agreeable songs in the same vein. They have good beats and catchy melodies. In fact, this is what Yorn is most successful at creating: a sort of acoustic/electric mix that has a rock tempo without heavy grinding on the guitars or bass. It sounds good but is hard to tag as either rock or pop, as it sort of hovers in between. I guess the best way to describe Yorn’s work is as upbeat mood music, which is why it is perfect for the WB network.
Give Yorn credit for blending acoustic and electric instruments, especially since he adds things like cowbells, mandolins, and glockenspiels to the mix. However, what makes the album overproduced is the mixing in of the electric guitars, especially on “When You See the Light,” another acoustically heavy upbeat song. I wonder if the producers were afraid the music would not sound enough like rock, so they all but bury everything with humming electric guitars that create a blanket of sound. This works well sometimes, but there is not enough variety in either the notes or the playing style of the guitars to make it anything more than a covering noise that loosely follows the melody.
“Man in Uniform” has a Neil Young/R.E.M. vibe to it, and no wonder, since Peter Buck appears on mandolin. “All at Once” has some nice moments, but again it feels overproduced and has Yorn doing a pseudo-Eddie Vedder imitation. It’s a pretty slow ballad, but sometimes those humming electric guitars drown out what is a pleasant acoustic riff. “Carlos (Don’t Let it go to Your Head)” is a song that misses whatever its intended mark is and “Burrito,” a Foo Fighters-sounding song, contains the following lyrics: “It’s a 7-11/Do you wanna take a walk outside?/ If you want a burrito, you can have another bite of mine/It could last you forever, if you’re not waiting for the call/ Come on over tonight.” Enough said. In short, Day I Forgot is good, not great, but because of the intra-song similarities, it might get old really fast.