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12 Desperate Straight Lines

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iTunes Review

If you fell for Telekinesis’ infectious debut, prepare to swoon again. Sticking to what he does best, songwriter and one-man-band Michael Benjamin Lerner, along with producer Chris Walla (Death Cab for Cutie), delivers a dozen energetic pop gems in just over 30 minutes. Though there’s not a bad song here, “Please Ask for Help,” “Dirty Thing,” “Car Crash,” and “Gotta Get It Right Now” best represent the album — rapid drumbeats, sunny harmonies, fuzzy bass, and loads of ringing power chords delivered with unquenchable urgency. This album is noisier and grittier than his debut but still focused on brief bursts of fun, dance-around-the-room power pop. The direct, heartfelt lyrics mainly deal with dysfunctional romance yet the catchy hooks and upbeat choruses come across as cathartic release rather than a mope-fest. 12 Desperate Straight Lines is a straightforward, no-frills winner.

Customer Reviews

Great album! All killa, no filla!

I first heard this album on the NPR music app. And I couldn't wait for it to come out. The first album is really good but I think this one is improvement. Its very catchy with up lifting music streaming over lyrics of sadness and dysfunction. Sometimes just what you need to make light of dark situations. I highly recommend this album.

Sounds Like The Cure

I've never heard of Telekinesis before but I really like the song Please Ask For Help. However it sounds like a huge rip off of The Cure's: Just Like Heaven


I usually know an album is good if Pitchfork says the opposite of almost every other reviewer. I have been waiting for this CD to come out for months. I've seen Telekinesis in Los Angeles on numerous occasions and they are great live. How in the bleep can you drum and sing so well at the same time dude? This album is solid all the way through, from the great drumming of Lerner to the snappy and daring production skills of Chris Walla. Sometimes I wish the songs were longer, but in a way the brevity of the tunes keeps me coming back for more. Lerner's voice sounds more confident compared to his first release. I always love an artist who can write about dark situations but still make the song sound happy. Maxwell's Silver Hammer comes to mind. Speaking of Paul McCartney and the Beatles, I heard NPR compare Mr. Lerner's writing to a young Macca. I would take that as the ultimate compliment sir. I give credit to anyone who can play an instrument, make a record and play it live. This is some really great music from an up and coming artist. Congratulations Telekinesis.


Formed: 2008 in Seattle, WA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Telekinesis is the songwriting vehicle of Michael Benjamin Lerner, whose music splits the difference between summery indie rock and buoyant power pop. Based in Seattle, Washington, Lerner handled most of the instrumental duties on his band's debut, Telekinesis!, which was produced by Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla and released in spring 2009. Telekinesis then launched a tour in support of the record, with auxiliary members Chris Staples, David Broecker, and Jonie Broecker filling out the lineup....
Full Bio
12 Desperate Straight Lines, Telekinesis
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