Telekinesis
Telekinesis!
(Merge)

Telekinesis is the project of Seattle multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter Michael Benjamin Lerner—solo in the studio, realized as a full band live. His debut full-length was recorded and produced by no less than Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla and is released by indie titans Merge Records. One might reasonably set expectations pretty high for this record.

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A lot about this album fulfills those expectations. Lerner's singing is understated though tuneful, but when he occasionally belts out a chorus or takes off on a little vocal run, he reveals a bright and agile voice. His songs are short and sunny slices of pop rock kissed with just a touch of soft '60s California psych (Walla's production is typically clean, clear, sweet, and respectfully unshowy), and Lerner has an effortless way with a quick pop hook and melody.

On the other hand, the album's 11 tracks in just over 30 minutes rush by without leaving much of a lasting impression. After a few listens, the tiny refrain of "twitchin', twitchin'" in "Calling All Doctors" was the only thing to get legitimately—as in, must go back and listen to that one again—stuck in my head. Who knows, maybe it just needs more listens. But for now, Telekinesis! lands as a perfectly pleasant, expertly executed, but ultimately inessential record. recommended