On his major-label debut Pete Yorn has crafted a solid album of songs that run the gamut from moody, dreamlike pop to driving rockers, with beautiful melodies and introspective lyrics that constantly reveal something new.
The album features dense layers of acoustic guitars, organs, throbbing bass, and sometimes funky drumming. “Life On A Chain” opens the record with the sound a needle settling onto a scratchy record and tinny guitar and vocals; eventually the full band kicks in and Yorn’s voice, warm and intimate, comes to the fore. The song explores typical themes of longing and alienation but avoids clichés. “Strange Condition” and “Just Another” continue in this vein, the latter possibly the best track on the album as Yorn almost whispers the verses before rising into the gorgeous chorus on a tone that aches with what he must say.
Yorn picks up the pace on “For Nancy” and “Murray”. The former features driving, distorted guitars that build a sense of developing tension; the latter is a Stones-ish romp with a killer groove. Toward the end, a few songs fail to live up to the high standards set by the first half, tending to be a little too quiet and self-absorbed. But they don’t keep Music For The Morning After from being a fine debut.