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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Pete Yorn

Rating: 7/10 ?

February 12, 2007
Last year, right around the release of Nightcrawler, the third of the Pete Yorn triumvirate marking morning, noon and night (also including musicforthemorningafter and Day I Forgot), a slight release made its way into the general market via Yorn's website and live performances. The six-song EP, Westerns, garnered much less attention and was forced to be a kid brother to the full-length Nightcrawler, although it might be more indicative of the true Yorn sound than the bigger pop project.

After all, initial reviews of morningafter offered endless comparisons to The Boss himself, with both Springsteen and Yorn making their livings as singer/songwriters from New Jersey. They both also create workmanlike riffs with a gritty voice. For some, Yorn's debut heralded an imminent passing of the proverbial torch.

But then came the next two releases and while Yorn's music veered slightly toward pop territory both sales and expectations slid downward. Gloss replaced grit and critics took note. But on Westerns there is a glimpse of the old Yorn to be found; the guy with dirt underneath his nails, who feels comfortable with a first take.

"The Man" is the leadoff song here and is also found on Nightcrawler, a soft duet featuring Natalie Maines from the Dixie Chicks. It's arguably the most countrified effort on the full-length and fits in nicely with the rest of the songs here. "Good Advice" is the other song that might sound familiar to Yorn's followers, a favorite from his live shows that just never found its way onto an album.

"Never My Love," an acoustic remake from The Association's hit from 1967, gives the album a vintage feel and Yorn's soft growl is perfectly suited for the material. "Lions" is a pop ballad of sorts with rough production, and "The Golden Road" closes the 18-minute set in perfect saloon-like fashion.

Westerns sounds like a series of outtakes from the Nightcrawler sessions - that group of tracks that Yorn might have tried to place on the record that a studio wouldn't have any part of. Yet it is in this EP that the Yorn we longed for in the first place resurfaces. The Boss would be proud.

Reviewed by Matt Conner
A contributing writer, Matt Conner lives in Anderson, Indiana.

See other reviews by Matt Conner



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