Jason Anderson New England

[K; 2004]

Styles: uplifting campfire pop, singer/songwriter
Others: Wolf Colonel, Mount Eerie, Little Wings, Calvin Johnson

At the awkward stages of life in which most of the music-obsessed exist, it is unusual for art to be a mirror image of ourselves. Maybe because artists are typically a little older and have guitars they think their role is to create music that floats over reality, but Jason Anderson reveals that the musician is indeed no higher than the listener. Wielding such embarrassingly familiar phrases as "totally" and "fuckin' rip one," as well as the sentimentality of, well, a K Records artist, Anderson (formerly known as Wolf Colonel) lets the quirks in young people shine through. In so doing, Anderson walks the anorexiacally thin line between coming off as either a passionate guy who is okay with who he is, or a huge loser. That's sort of the point, though; we're all huge losers. But once you're okay with it, the lush piano, delicate duets, and high school bro-down feel makes his new album New England sound that much better. Not many of the tracks vary much in tempo, nor do they steer away from the three piano chord base, but Anderson's dorky phrasings ("I'd drive like 3,000 miles"), full-ranged vocal energy, and, let's face it, boyish charm give this album more than enough to keep it from dragging on into droning slumber.

1. For Kyle
2. Pen Pals
3. You Fall
4. A Book Laid on Its Binding
5. The Moment
6. I Swear I Am
7. Hold On
8. Thanksgiving
9. I Want My Summer Back
10. So Long
11. Christmas

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