February 26, 2015

Pete Yorn - Musicforthemorningafter (2001)

This album was a staple in my dad's car stereo when I was about 5 years old and as a result it is practically ingrained in my identity. I haven't heard Musicforthemorningafter in about 4 years, so I was wondering if I liked it so much only because of hearing it when I was younger. Not the case. My father did play a lot of forgettable new material of past-prime artists that he liked (Elvis Costello and Tori Amos) because it made him feel up to date... sorry Dad, but you know it's true. Among my lukewarm feelings to some of those CDs, I did find some of my now-favorites like Mothership Connection, Summerteeth, and Weezer's debut, so you can disagree with me all you want, but I think Musicforthemorningafter is in good company there.

Let's steer away from sizing the album up in my personal life and talk about the music. It might be best to describe the album as a major-label attempt at a college rock revival while still moving forward and establishing its own identity. There is some influence from a folky singer/songwriter style, but that shouldn't jump out at you. Keep in mind that it's 2001 and there are going to be some croaks and groans coming from Yorn's singing, and while that type of shit gets a lot of hate today, I love it because it sounds natural and he's not indulging at all--same goes for his fantastic writing. Whoever worked on producing this did well too; the Rick Ocasek inspired keyboard additions, guitar layering, and those drum machine beats aren't forced and prove to be just as great on subsequent listens.

I don't know the story behind Musicforthemorningafter, but if you think it's just a major label grooming an up-and-coming star for cash, you're wrong. A fantastic effort of alt rock that should be heard by everyone.