Review of Pete Yorn album Back and Fourth released through Columbia.
Pete Yorn has rather decently flagged up that this is his fourth album, in his rather awakard album title. Had his previous three album sucked this hard, it is quite possible that he wouldn't have got this far. The news that this is one of three albums on the go for Mr Yorn has a strange dissonance to it. He has a release of duets with Scarlett Johansson due for release that is bound to make headlines, as well as an album recorded with Frank Black. I say dissonance, because this sounds like the work of a lazy man, which he clearly isn't.
We have Mike Mogis (of Bright Eyes) to blame in this case. It was him who pressed Pete Yorn to play with a band, rather than playing the instruments himself. Part of the blame lays with Rick Rubin, as well, who reportedly helped to choose the song list.
Pete Yorn clearly has talent to burn. Don't Wanna Cry starts the album well, but soon drifts into the kind of bleurch that Nightcrawler (his third album) was drowning in. It's throwaway nonsense, finessed to sound American MoR-ish. After two great albums, it seems as if Yorn is just faxing himself copies of his own ideas. And those ideas are degrading, album by album. Avoid.