Damn that sophomore slump. Singer/songwriter/Eddie Vedder impressionist Pete Yorn had the world by the ass with his first release, Musicforthemorningafter on Columbia, which went gold. Radio airplay, songs on movie soundtracks and even an entry into the Winona Ryder Boyfriend Club cemented his status as an upstart sensitive musician with messy hair a la Ryan Adams. But what minor fame he achieved with the album couldn’t possibly have afforded him the right to replicate the formula so soon.
While there is a soft spot in my heart for pure, sweet pop, there also is a longing to hear fresh, new formulas. Yorn tries on Day I Forgot to be different, even edgy, but the experiment fails. From the lead track, “Intro,” it’s apparent he’s trying a little bit too hard.
“Come Back Home,” the disc’s first single, is catchy and tells a typical Yorn lovelorn tale. The next track, “Crystal Village,” is predictably sappy and upbeat. The next song sounds just like the first two; oh, wait — all the songs on this disc sound the same. Therein lies the problem. And who can deny the greatness of the lyric, from the appropriately titled track “Burrito”: “If you want a burrito, you can have another bite of mine.” If that’s not poetry, I don’t know what is.
When all is said and done, Day I Forgot is a decent record. It’s not bad, by any means – in fact, it’s refreshingly sincere light rock. Unfortunately, it doesn’t match Yorn’s first release lyrically or musically. Maybe it’s an unfair comparison to make, but in a world where cute boys with good voices who can play the guitar are this common, the bar demands to be raised.