Day I Forgot – Pete Yorn

:: :: It’s been over a year since Day I Forgot, Pete Yorn ‘s second album, was released. It’s a recording I’ve come upon only in the past few months, and it was worth the wait. The follow up to musicforthemorningafter, it is more than a worthy sophomore effort. Rarely does an album grab me after a few listenings, and not let go. It is my favorite album of 2004 so far, even though it’s a 2003 release.

Yorn writes about the fragile nature of relationships, hanging out at 7-11, searching for simple joys, and wondering what to do next. For me, however, a good melody always trumps the lyrics. So many of the songs on this album have superb, understated melodies that resonate for long periods of time. Music is always in my head, and of late, many of the tunes on this album have elbowed their way into my mind.

Day I Forgot has another quality that drew me in the more I listened to it. It has what I can only describe as “cool song parts”. The web site, retrocrush, recently posted a entry called “The 50 Coolest Song Parts“. As subjective as it gets, the 50 choices are often good ones, highlighting that certain moment that grabs you and makes the song memorable. It could be the lyric, the voicing, the instrumentation, or a combination of the above at that moment – it could last for a second, or for half a minute.

As the song, Committed, nears its conclusion, Yorn repeats the line, “Always up to..only witness”, and in the background, adds the line “You just feel left out”, four times. I hear this line, and I can’t get enough of it. Long Way Down is such a great tune, the entire song could qualify as a cool song part, but if I had to nail down one section, I’d submit for your approval, the instantly addictive opening guitar riffs. Turn Of The Century is the only song in 3/4 time on the record. A gentle tune, the verses follow a Cmaj7/Amin7 chord pattern (as best I can determine). As the song nears its completion, and Yorn sings “Yeah, I wonder”, a high G note begins to drone through 16 bars, and then switches to a high B-D-B-G progression. Lovely and hypnotic.

As much as I like Long Way Down, the killer tune on the album is the last one, So Much Work. Opening with a one-note xylophone tone, Yorn sings “about the effort that goes into making an unconventional relationship work” – his description from his web site. The song aches throughout, but ends with hope: “you can stay, you don’t have to walk alone”, and that final lyric, once again, becomes a cool song part. “You don’t have to walk alone” follows the listener away, as the song ends, amidst instrumentation and voices, and I wanted to walk along myself.

Pete Yorn plays most of the instruments on Day I Forgot. The music on this album lingers long after you stop listening. It gets under your skin. It’s one of the few albums that after owning it for a few months, I keep going back to listen to it again. One of my favorite albums of the year, and of the decade to date.

NOTE: This review also posted to Blogcritics.com.

One Response to “Day I Forgot – Pete Yorn”

  1. sharon Says:

    i liked the album too! Have you seen the mtv for the song? It totally portrays the moods you have just described.

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