Telekinesis is more or less made up of one man, Michael B. Lerner, who gathered what one can assume is a group of close friends to flesh out his debut album. The self-titled album, well, save for a change in punctuation, is the first most will hear from Mr. Lerner, and with such a solid album, we’re sure to hear more from the man and his band in the future.
“Rust” is the album opener, and it sets the mood, or revels in the setting of the music, as it would be hard not to place the music on this album somewhere in the Northwest. Here, you’ll find the band sounding a bit like old Earlimart bedroom recordings.
Then listeners will come across what we will call the meat of the album, which is probably the most consistent tracking on any album this year. Kick starting our hearts is “Coast of Carolina,” which begins with gentle acoustics before kicking right it in with its energy legs. There is an element of lo-fi recording to this song, and to the majority of the songs that appear on this album, but they also have a surefire pop sensibility. Rock songs like “Look to the East” will remind some of us of early Ben Kweller recordings before he thought coke and country was where its at.
“Foreign Room” is another song that clearly locates the album and its narrator, as Lerner does his best to emulate Eliott Smith; the wavering in his voice will be the first key to this comparison. But, he doesn’t just rely upon Smith’s old tricks, instead pushing forward with a quick paced guitar. It’s like the entire Northwest went pop as the rain made way for a years worth of sunshine.
Just as you get used to the harder moments on the album, or the faster elements one should say, Lerner slows it all down with “Great Lakes.” His voice is pitch-perfect here, and the space on the song is all filled in such a fashion that one would be hard pressed not to adorn the band with praise just like the rest of their cohorts along the Northwest Corridor. And so the album closes with an acoustic number that bookends the album precisely the way one would expect. Through all the peaks and gorges, it’s hard not to appreciate such a subtle ending as this. A love song no less.
And with the entirety of this album, each listener will find something that they can appreciate, as Telekinesis appeals to many different styles and many different tastes. It’s an album that many will appreciate, a few will love, and most will respect; the best thing about the album is it leaves the door wide open for future accomplishments by Michael Benjamin Lerner.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/05-awkward-kisser.mp3]
Download: Telekinesis – Awkward Kisser [MP3]