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Back & Fourth

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Album Review

Pete Yorn throws open the studio doors with Back & Fourth, his first album to feature heavy contributions from a backing band. Drummer Joey Waronker, guitarist Jonny Polonsky, and former Azure Ray vocalist Orenda Fink are among those featured, and the presence of producer Mike Mogis — chief architect of the Saddle Creek sound — gives the material a tasteful gloss. Traces of Californian folk-rock can be found throughout these ten tracks, particularly in the jangle of "Last Summer" and the breezy, coastal sway of "Paradise Cove." Nonetheless, Yorn's fourth album is a fairly depressed affair, eschewing the West Coast's sunny weather for the lonely, windswept vistas of Nebraska, where the album was recorded in early 2008. There's beauty here, but it's more melancholic than buoyant, with Yorn giving the most screen time to his failed relationships and various personal missteps. "Same old town, loose ends surround me, always drags you down," he sings on the album's final track, an elegiac piano ballad filled with vibraphone, upright bass, and understated guitar. Songwriters don't have to be happy to deliver a good hook, of course, and tunes like "Close," "Last Summer," and "Shotgun" balance Yorn's temporary gloom with tight pop/rock flourishes. The bulk of Back & Fourth is more insular, though, and the album winds up serving as Pete Yorn's personal therapy rather than his audience's ear candy.

Customer Reviews


Not to say this is bad music by any means, but this is NOT the Pete Yorn that I became a fan of in 2001 through the brilliant musicforthemorningafter. If you got into Pete by stuff like Life On A Chain, For Nancy, Crystal Village, etc.. this album might not be for you; it certainly wasn't for me. There's very few upbeat moments on this album, and after about 4 or 5 songs it sounds like it's all running together and you just want the cd to be over with. There is one song I really enjoy, Paradise Cove, and I would recommend downloading that one track because it reminds me of some of the older PY. I hesitated on purchasing this album at first because I didn't care for Don't Wanna Cry, but it was new Pete so I felt it was worth a risk. Well, the rest of the album sounds a LOT like Don't Wanna Cry. A fairly somber, reflective, mellow album. If you enjoy Don't Wanna Cry, listen a few of the samples and decide for yourself if you want to purchase. I am just giving you a heads up that if you're looking for musicforthemorningafter or Day I Forgot part 2, don't look here.


A beautiful reflective record, totally stripped down from the sometimes overproduced sound of "Nightcrawler" (which I still loved mind you). Could be Pete's best work since "Musicforthemorningafter." Some terrific songs open this album, including a gem called Paradise Cove, which will remind fans of Man in Uniform. Then there's Shotgun, an infectious tune that is bound for airplay, and will probably play in your head all summer long. Thanks Pete, can't wait to see you at Webster Hall in July.

What happened, Pete?

What a let down. Each song sounds like a variation on the one before it. No suprises or rewards here for the fans who've waited patiently for a new release. Just a collection of inexplicably country-tinged, easily forgettable pop tracks. Nothing reminiscent of the moody "Nightcrawler", or the bright, guitary pop of "Musicforthemorningafter" and "Day I Forgot." Did he forget how to write a great hook? To me, this is just cannon fodder filler music for the next season of "Grey's Anatomy."


Born: July 27, 1974 in Montville, NJ

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

New Jersey native Pete Yorn took a rather unique route to singer/songwriter acclaim, gaining his first big break by providing the score to a Farrelly Brothers film. Having graduated from Syracuse University several years prior, the 26-year-old pulled up stakes in 2000 and relocated to Los Angeles, California, where he began writing music for film and television. Prospects increased when Yorn was recruited to score Me, Myself, & Irene, a Farrelly Brothers movie starring Jim Carrey. One of his own...
Full Bio