MGF Reviews Pete Yorn – Back & Fourth


Pete Yorn – Back & Fourth
Columbia (6/23/09)
Rock / Alternative

Pete Yorn’s latest offering, Back & Fourth opens with the somber line, “Don’t wanna cry for you.” It’s the opening line off of the lead single “Don’t Wanna Cry” and it sets the tone for the entire album. It’s the type of lyric that is indicative of a serious album full of emotionally wrought lyrics.

It is an album full of troubled relationships, vulnerable narrators and longing. Not surprisingly it’s also a relatively downtempo album. Sadly, there’s no earnest cover of Aaliyah’s “Back & Forth”.

The album’s got a couple high notes, the first being “Paradise Cove”, which is darn near peppy compared to some of the other songs. Sure, it’s a song about a guy who seeks liberation from his girl by taking a trip to the beach, but it’s perfectly arranged. “Shotgun” and “Close” are also songs that immediately attract the ear.

But on the bad side of things, all of the songs about doomed relationships really wear down the listener; it’s almost like Yorn was trying to channel Damien Rice. It’s really a downer of an album. If you were already in a depressed mood before listening to Back & Fourth, this might put you dangerously close to the edge. Better hide the sharp objects just in case.

If it were possible for an album to “jump the shark,” this album would have with a single lyric in “Social Development Dance”, where Yorn plaintively sings, “I Googled your name in quotes, got no results.” Maybe Yorn is trying to show how with it he is, but it’s a pretty bold reference that almost begs for a rolling of the eyes.

All in all, it pretty much sounds like a typical Pete Yorn album. Yorn fans probably won’t be too impressed and their only disappointment might stem from the fact that, at ten tracks, it’s his briefest album yet. It’s also a depressing album full of break-up ballads that seem better suited for a fall soundtrack rather than music for the summer. It’s a respectable album, but nothing you’d want to keep on repeat, even if you’re a fan.

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