We were driving south on the interstate just a day ago when we spotted fall beginning to happen all around us. New red and orange leaves on previously green trees. Its September, and the air is getting colder, everyone begins to bustle about busily in their endeavors, starting anew after the summer.

That is exactly what Mike Kinsella is doing with Owen's new album New Leaves. This release was highly awaited after his acclaimed 2006 full-length, At Home With... and I must say, it does not disappoint.

He has moved away from down tempo, twinkly guitar riffs into something a bit more optimistic, although he never fails to write a track that hits you where it hurts. On this album, it is Ugly on the Inside: "I don't care how you do or don't your hair, you're still ugly on the inside."

Overall the album is more heavily orchestrated then his other releases. His guitar, which in all his projects has taken center stage, takes a back seat on New Leaves, letting the production value take over.

For example, Good Friends, Bad Habits, a track off of his split with The City on Film (Bob Nana), has received quite the makeover, with interesting synth lines over what was a really neat guitar riff. Although I absolutley adored the song before all the fluff, by the time it gets to the bridge, its just like turning At Home With... on for the first time again.

I'll just say, he has come a long way from recording his albums in his mother's bedroom!

Check out Owen's New Leaves

On 91.5 FM WUML, Lowell. www.wuml.org, and Sunday October 11th at the Great Scott in Allston, MA
  1. "New Leaves" - 4:12
  2. "Good Friends, Bad Habits" - 3:54
  3. "A Trenchant Critique" - 2:48
  4. "Never Been Born" - 4:43
  5. "Amnesia and Me"- 3:41
  6. "Brown Hair in a Bird's Nest" - 4:30
  7. "Too Scared to Move" - 3:35
  8. "The Only Child of Aergia" - 4:06
  9. "Ugly on the Inside" - 2:56
  10. "Curtain Call" - 4:13

HIGHLIGHTS: 'Good Friends, Bad Habits,' 'Amnesia and Me," "Ugly on the Inside."


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