Review: Pete Yorn splendidly miserable on 'Arranging Time'

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Posted: Mar 16, 2016 1:26 PM
Review: Pete Yorn splendidly miserable on 'Arranging Time'

Pete Yorn, "ArrangingTime" (Capitol Records)

Pete Yorn returns after an extended hiatus with "ArrangingTime," his sixth and lushest solo studio album since his 2001 debut.

"ArrangingTime" shares more than just space bar anemia with his first album, "musicforthemorningafter." R. Walt Vincent is back on half of the 12 tracks, and like the other co-producers, helps out on a wide range of instruments.

The production is meticulous. Yorn's voice changes from song to song and sounds best at its most natural.

Lyrically, there's a lot of angst, hardly a healthy relationship in sight and the unease can be overwhelming. The melodies are sweet but it's a bitter delicacy.

A sampling: "This fire's burned out, I can't blame myself if you're walking out" ("This Fire"); "I couldn't be the one to warm your heart" ("Summer Was A Day"); "You were into being here and now you're not" ("Halifax"); "I'm not the one you should be leaning on, I'm not the one who likes to stay too long" ("I'm Not the One").

"Halifax" begins like early R.E.M., "Lost Weekend" has an 80's synth bass, the melody soars on "In Your Head" and "Screaming at the Setting Sun" is practically danceable, as is "Tomorrow."

"ArrangingTime" is Yorn's debut for Capitol Records, though in this age of hyper-consolidation among the labels that may not mean as much as before. What matters more is that Yorn still writes splendid songs even when his characters are miserable.

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