12 Songs, 33 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Telekinesis! is mostly a one-man project driven by Michael Benjamin Lerner, a Seattle-based drummer, guitarist, and singer-songwriter. Clocking in at just over 30 minutes, his eponymous debut is a delightfully concise batch of crisp and catchy power pop aimed at those who love the three-minute form. Created with Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla, who produced the album and played some instruments, the songs feature abundant hooks, memorable choruses, and the kind of repetitive phrases you’re happy to have bouncing around your head for a while. The album’s two ballads, “Rust” and “I Saw Lightning,” add some variety but the true standouts are the sunny, high-energy travelogue tunes “Coast of Carolina,” “Toyko,” “Look to the East,” and “Great Lakes,” along with “Awkward Kisser” and the irresistible “Imaginary Friend.” There’s nothing fancy here, just fun, well-crafted pop songs and not a bummer in the bunch. Can’t argue with that.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Telekinesis! is mostly a one-man project driven by Michael Benjamin Lerner, a Seattle-based drummer, guitarist, and singer-songwriter. Clocking in at just over 30 minutes, his eponymous debut is a delightfully concise batch of crisp and catchy power pop aimed at those who love the three-minute form. Created with Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla, who produced the album and played some instruments, the songs feature abundant hooks, memorable choruses, and the kind of repetitive phrases you’re happy to have bouncing around your head for a while. The album’s two ballads, “Rust” and “I Saw Lightning,” add some variety but the true standouts are the sunny, high-energy travelogue tunes “Coast of Carolina,” “Toyko,” “Look to the East,” and “Great Lakes,” along with “Awkward Kisser” and the irresistible “Imaginary Friend.” There’s nothing fancy here, just fun, well-crafted pop songs and not a bummer in the bunch. Can’t argue with that.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
203 Ratings

203 Ratings

Mavhunter ,

Nothing out of place.

I've been following Telekinesis (the work of Michael Benjamin Lerner; he plays all of the instruments here, Chris Walla of Death Cab produces) since 2007 and I recently saw him and his band perform at a duckpin bowling alley in Richmond along with Say Hi. In the studio, the band's like Spoon without the funk but with a lot of heart, instead. Live, the Spoon comparison holds true, in that the music is so tightly wound up that it almost feels as if a stray beat could bring the whole thing down. But what Lerner is great at is anticipating the listener: check out the little touches on songs like Foreign Room or Imaginary Friend. Telekinesis! may not be revolutionary, but darnit, it's indie pop done right, and Lerner deserves every accolade he receives for this album.

FabGear ,

A Perfect Summer Soundtrack

I have been following this 22 year old drummer, guitar player, writer and engineer since he attended Paul McCartney's school in Liverpool. I think some of the Beatles home town Mojo rubbed off on the young man. His drumming is what leads these songs along. The guy is a great player. His lyrics are innocent and touching. I don't know why people compare him to Death Cab, except for the fact that Chris Walla produced the CD and like Death Cab, it's really great music. Telekinesis rocks a lot harder than DCFC and the songs are more positive.
This is a great CD to drive to with the top down or windows open. It will become a soundtrack for the summer of 2009 and beyond. Hey Letterman staff, this would be the perfect band to cap off one of your shows. Nice going young man. Your future is as bright as your songs! Great music is still being made and Michael Lerner is proof. Buy this one and get the bonus track!

//anna. ,

Different Kind of Alternative (yes, you will love it).

I loved this album the moment I first heard Coast of Carolina- its so fun and meaningful at the same time. For some reason it sounds like a different style of alternative to me, its so unique I just love it all. I actaully found out about Telekinesis through a like two sentence feature in Teen Vogue, I looked them up and was really surprised by how quickly I came to like this music. It's so fresh and different- I bought this album this morning and have had it on repeat the entire day, I cannot get enough of it. Especially the song Coast of Carolina (of course) and Great Lakes. Love those songs. Buy it, buy it, buy it. It's the kind of stuff you just keep on listening to.

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