Mikal Cronin

MCII

Merge

May 09, 2013 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


If Mikal Cronin had a lot going on in his life (exiting college, a relationship, and life in L.A.) around the release of his 2011 debut album, MCII is the sound of someone who moved on and found solid ground. Aside from a few guest contributions, including Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees' Petey Dammit, Cronin played everything on a record that sounds like just the thing to reach for as warmer weather settles in.

Lyrically, Cronin sometimes sounds like he's still finding his feet. "I've been starting over for a long time/I'm not ready for another day," he sings on the opener, "Weight." But the music belies the apprehension; an upbeat pop-rock vibe starts the song before a short-of-distorted guitar kicks in with the chorus and carries Cronin to the finish on the shoulders of electric optimism. It's some of the season's sunniest trepidation.

Cronin applies similar shifts in dynamics on other tracks as well, including a rafter-scorching guitar solo on "See It My Way," though he sounds equally comfortable taking a more direct approach with the country lilt of "Peace of Mind" or the rock crunch that drives "Change." Either way, listeners may find themselves settling comfortably with Cronin right where he was probably hoping to be at this moment. (www.mikalcronin.bandcamp.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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