Pete Yorn gradually building up success

Brendan McCarthy

Think of it as “musicforthealbumafter.” Pete Yorn’s latest release “Day I Forgot” might as well be a continuation of his golden debut, “musicforthemorningafter.” This highly anticipated record picks up where the other left off. “Day I Forgot” is full of Yorn’s signature catchy pop songs that should propel the artist out of the depths of one hit wonderdom and into the main stream.

Pete Yorn is a one-man-band of sorts, playing most of the instruments on the album, including guitar, bass and drums. He is helped by a few other musicians, most notably Peter Buck of REM. The rough sound of the album is a testament to Yorn’s workman-like approach to music.

A band’s second album always seems to be the most scrutinized. “Musicforthemorningafter,” however, was undoubtedly one of the best albums of 2001. It propelled the New Jersey native into the spotlight. Has Yorn built on the foundation of his successful single, “Life on a Chain?” While it is a pleasure to listen to, many have criticized “Day I Forgot” as void of any originality or evidence that Yorn has evolved musically.

However, despite a letdown on expectations, credit is due to Yorn for a well-crafted album. It is up to the listener to ask the question: can you have too much of a good thing? In the case of Yorn’s music, this may not be possible.

Yorn didn’t have to change anything to his sound to make a good album. The result is a record that is packed with energetic pop songs as well as a few slow acoustic ballads. The album is faster-paced than “musicforthemorningafter.” The overall unity of the album has also improved; Yorn seems to build off of each song.

The first full track of the album, “Come Back Home,” is reminiscent of Yorn’s breakout hit “Life on a Chain,” which also was the lead-off track. Yorn belts out the chorus, “You know you’re strong enough,” and the listener gets the feeling that it is the first time he has ever really opened his mouth to sing.

One of the better songs on the CD is the charmingly upbeat third track, “Crystal Village.” The song blends an acoustic guitar with strong harmonic electric chords. Yorn yearns for things to be as good as they were “in the beginning.”

“Committed” is another standout song, separated by its slower tempo and unusual key. “Long Way Down” and “Man in Uniform” are two other great songs on the album.

Bottom line, if you liked Pete Yorn’s first CD, you’ll have no problem with “Day I Forgot.” It is an energetic album, which combines catchy beats and guitar riffs that are very easy to listen to.

In the introduction to the album, Pete Yorn says, “Now I’m me this time.” However, Yorn has not changed since the morning broke on his career and that seems to be working out just fine.