Monday, February 21, 2011

What We're Listening To - Telekinesis' 12 Desperate Straight Lines

On tour , Telekinesis' Michael Benjamin Lerner has taken to covering, of all things, Justin Bieber's Baby.

Ignore that it's Bieber. The lyrics are a simple broken heart love song, and Lerner strips away the production and makes it a wonderful tune.

And this ability to capture, interpret, and express such youthful emotions made the Telekinesis debut an irresitible album I found myself listening to over and over again (it was our Best Album of 2009).

But what the first album captured so perfectly with it's tales of falling in love, 12 Desperate Straight Lines captures succintly the reverse feelings of breaking up and being hurt. Lerner lost a love and got a bad case of vertigo, which would affect anyone. But he adheres musically to the formula that he's perfected: quick power pop songs, with splashes of guitars and effects to break it up a bit.

He goes a little harder with 50 Ways, a nod to the cheesy Paul Simon song ("There truly are 50 ways..."), and even a little Cure-y with Please Ask For Help. He cleaned and sped up his 2010 Record Day and Parallel Seismic Conspiracies EP single Dirty Thing, stripping away the fuzz and distortion and adding a toy piano. It's a different take, but the first iteration is a beautiful kiss off.

But it's still the same Telekinesis, rocking it on Car Crash, having some delirious redemptive fun on Gotta Get It Right Now. The latter is a song my two-year-old loves, singing along to the simple "ba ba ba" chorus. You probably will too.

Stream and buy Telekinesis 12 Desperate Straight Lines at Merge Records.

Buy Telekinesis' 12 Desperate Straight Lines at the Amazon mp3 Store

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