Day I Forgot
Pete Yorn sounds like a singer-songwriter trapped in the body of a modern rocker on the follow-up to his 2001 debut Musicforthemorningafter. Somewhere beneath the loud drums and loud guitars, Yorn’s enigmatic lyrics seek connection and emotional impact that ultimately remain elusive. Vocally, the Yorn bears the occasional resemblance to a less interesting (and less interested) Eddie Vedder or Bruce Springsteen. Mostly, he sounds like he just rolled out of bed. A slew of producers and mixers try their hand at defining the Pete Yorn “sound” on this disc, but his bored mumble just can’t bring these artificially melancholy songs home. The result is a second effort lacking in personality and purpose.
Which isn’t to say that it won’t sell a slew of copies. He’s got the backing of a major label and lots of screaming girls ogling his rugged rock star look. And then there’s the music. “Come Back Home” is a catchy enough power jangle first single. The kiss-off “Long Way Down” showcases a memorable chorus as well. “Crystal Village” mixes in lots of pretty guitars with the loud ones as Yorn sings about a relationship that was “good in the beginning.” The record’s most impressive songwriting can be heard on the early-REM like “Committed.” “I won’t commit my friend,” sings Yorn, “?When you come back from your escape / then I could follow you to hell.” REM’s own Peter Buck turns up later, playing mandolin on “Man In Uniform.” Here, Yorn’s voice doesn’t sound quite as forced against the mostly acoustic backing.
Unfortunately the record sports plenty of filler too. Yorn uses an overworked Zeppelin-like riff that makes the mostly tuneless “Carlos (Don’t Let It Go To Your Head)” an endurance test. “Turn Of the Century” sounds like a reject from the last Counting Crows record. “I couldn’t think of anything important to say,” Yorn sings on this one. Hey buddy, you said it. The album’s nadir, though, may be “Burrito,” on which Yorn mumbles lyrics about purchasing the titular food item at a 7-11. A couple of dreary, dull tracks subsequently close out the disc. As “So Much Work” drones to a close, Yorn sings, “it’s the same old song coming back again.” That’s too often the case with Day I Forgot, which doesn’t take any chances and doesn’t show any growth.