Saturday, November 7, 2009

Peter Moren - The Last Tycoon

Peter Moren – The Last Tycoon
Quarterstick, 2008
Acquired: Love Garden Blowout Sale, New, 2009
Price: $1 (originally $15)

I was pretty opposed to Peter, Bjorn and John until I got assigned to review their show. “Ok,” I thought. “There's more to Writer's Block than 'Young Folks.'” That song had been everywhere over the past two years. Commercials, movies, TV shows, even blaring from shops downtown. It was inescapable and I grew to hate it. In my preparation for the show, I not only learned to love most of Writer's Block, but also the two records before it. Peter Moren's solo record was pretty much panned upon release, and I never really got around to listening to it when it came into KJ and I think I ended up selling it. However, upon seeing Moren's poorly sketched face from the cover of this yesterday at the $1 sale, I couldn't resist. I just couldn't! That, and that song “The Chills” has been in heavy rotation for the past month or so. I can see why this record was panned, it's a little bit of a one trick pony, but it's not a bad listen. It's not necessarily a good listen, either, but it's decent. Some mostly acoustic songs, some fully orchestrated stuff. The lyrics are actually pretty good, it's just that as a solo record it feels a bit tossed off and Moren's voice doesn't really work so well when it's bare like this. He needs a dense backing track, more effects. It's not bad, and I do love me a Swedish accent on some singers. It feels like this would be better as a sort of online only thing between PB&J records. The string arrangements are nice, but I don't think the songs warrant the grandeur that comes with sweeping strings. The songs are about as good as the drawings that make up the cover art: They seem to be the product of a high school kid.

I just wish this was on the record!

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