Mikal Cronin: MCII

MCIIWhat rock music these days isn’t in some varying throwback style? What’s old is new and all that. It just seems that we’ve explored all the musical genres at this point and all that’s left are hybrids and mashups of rock ‘n’ roll history. After all, there are only so many notes to play, so many beats to beat and pop norms that will appeal to the human ear. So that’s why you end up with this album. With songs like ‘Piece of Mind’ that remind me of Paul Simon’s ‘Kodachrome.’ But most of the tracks have that sunny 60s / 70s pastiche over a mid-nineties bed of grungy guitar pedal that feels like almost an indie version of a New Pornographers record. And in its throwbackiness and familiarity is that level of comfort that makes this a good album. Nowhere does he stretch the limits of the designated genre established by the first track. He doesn’t test the listeners’ ear to see how much noise he can take. He stays in the pocket (so to speak) that feels good in your blood and begs to be listened to on a worn leather couch or slingback chair. It’s warm and inviting, but at the same time not boring or staid. And sometimes, as a lover of music, there’s nothing more you can ask for.