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Pete Yorn: Back & Fourth

 

C

Pete Yorn

Album: Back & Fourth
Label: Columbia

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Pete Yorn has a pretty literal mind even for a relatively nondescript adult-alternative singer-songwriter. What does he call his fourth album? Back & Fourth—get it? Still, compared to the music contained therein, that title almost qualifies as pugnacious. Going to Omaha to work with Saddle Creek Records producer/Bright Eyes member Mike Mogis and a handful of backing players is a break from Yorn’s typical one-man recording, but he sounds pretty lonesome here anyway, singing about failed relationships often. But Yorn’s lightly rusty voice and yearning way with a chorus are, alas, outgunned by his plodding lyrics. “Yeah, baby / I needed some time to figure out my shit / Still walking through the mines / Explosions never far,” from “Shotgun,” is typical. “Last Summer” has a mildly stormy sound, but how seriously can anyone take a song with lines like “Time was short, but not for long” or “We were not each other’s truth”? The mildly humorous “Social Development Dance,” another wistful remembrance of an old relationship, at least contains one memorably pithy line: “I Googled you in quotes / Got no results.” They’re short here, too.