Essential New Music: Pete Yorn’s “ArrangingTime”

PeteYorn

If there’s a code for frontal-lobe permeating infectious melodies under the guise of indie pop/rock, Pete Yorn has cracked it. Not necessarily in the sappy, sweet context immediately thought of, although there are a couple or three stabs in that general vicinity on Yorn’s latest offering, his seventh studio album.

Yorn rejoined producer R. Walt Vincent for the magic touch he provided on hopelessly infectious indie-rock staple Day I Forgot, a solid runner in the race for 2003’s album of the year and the second of the so-called “trilogy” that saw Yorn rise from Montville, N.J., unknown alternative/indie rocker to the power-pop genius on full display with ArrangingTime, albeit with a tad more electronica influence and ambient sound.

But fear not, the unforgettable choruses and custom Yorn finger-strum pattern are abundant. “Roses” could be a hidden b-side on Day I Forgot, a gorgeous ballad with its ambient stack of strings, guitar and piano, complete with a spooky baritone croon capping off the chorus and evening out the harmonies: instant classic. Album opener “Summer Was A Day” builds again on Yorn’s acoustic loop with a chunky bass line and a synthed-up spacy resonance; “Lost Weekend” screams top-40, but once the record is spun, the careful selection of moods is masterfully executed by Yorn and Vincent. Perhaps a new time shrouded “trilogy” is on the horizon.

—Scott Zuppardo