Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Pete Yorn - An Artist You Should Know

Singer/Songwriter Pete Yorn is originally from New Jersey, which was enough of a reason for me to give his debut album, musicforthemorningafter a chance. Being that I’m from Jersey, any artist that hails from the Garden State usually gets my attention. Yorn was born and raised in Montville, a quaint town in the northwestern part of the state. He attended college at Syracuse University and then moved to Los Angeles, California shortly after graduating. It was there that he would record his magnificent debut album.

After his move, Yorn started performing all over the city. He slowly built a following and then attracted the attention of Columbia Records who signed him in 1999. His debut album, musicforthemorningafter, was released in 2001 to critical acclaim.

Musicforthemorningafter is one of the greatest debut albums ever released by an artist. This is both a blessing and a curse for Pete. Every album that has been released since his first work has been compared to it, fairly or not. Unfortunately, every album released since his debut has not been as grand. That’s not to say they weren’t great records, just not as spectacular as musicforthemorningafter.

Self taught on the drums and guitar from the age of 9, Pete Yorn is a true solo artist. He plays multiple instruments, arranges all of his songs, writes his own music and lyrics, and of course, sings his own songs. Yorn is definitely a rock and roll solo artist. On most of his albums he plays multiple instruments including guitars, drums, and bass. His music is a cross between early Springsteen, Ryan Adams, and Wilco. He is heavily influenced by 70s and 80s rock, most notably Kiss and Bruce Springsteen. Yorn has even released covers of Bruce Springsteen songs including New York City Serenade and Dancing In The Dark.

Pete Yorn is a unique style and sound that is hard to duplicate. On his more recent releases, he has leaned toward the acoustic side of his musical influences. Back and Fourth, his latest available solo CD, is mostly soft acoustic lacking in the harder rock edge that dominated his debut album. Yorn’s music has progressed over the years and evolved into a more New York coffee house style. As he has matured, so has his music. However, some fans and critics are still waiting for the next musicforthemorningafter. I don’t think that will happen. That was a time in Yorn’s life that he captured on record, and it is one that will never be duplicated.

His next record, Pete Yorn, is due out on September 28th. Your cousin Ryo is anxiously awaiting this release. I’ve loved all of Yorn’s records, and his last release even made it into my top ten records of 2009. This fall release is being called a record that rocks out. That has me smiling, because I’ve always felt that Yorn’s rockers were his best work. That’s where most of his energy is released and his true spirit emerges.

If you’ve never heard of Pete Yorn, now is the time to give his music a try. It will not disappoint. If you’re a fan of Son Volt, early Springsteen, or modern acoustic rock, you’ll love Pete Yorn. For more information and to check out his great music, visit

Life On A Chain

Pete Yorn - Life on a Chain
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