Kevin Morby relocated to Los Angeles to record these reflections on living for five years in New York City—which, for this Kansas City native, proved to be a place of ambivalent progress. He upped his profile from nothing by working in two bands (Woods and The Babies) and planted the seeds for working with producer Rob Barbato (Darker My Love), who here adds guitar and bass work, alongside The Babies’ Justin Sullivan, White Fence’s Tim Presley, Will Canzonieri, Dan Lead, and Cate Le Bon, who features on “Slow Train.” Recorded in just two months, this album has a modern 2013 sound, despite its folk leanings. The reverb is generous; the guitar tones are clean and silvery. Critics’ comparisons to Bob Dylan appear superfluous, as Morby doesn't come near Dylan’s sneer nor his gruff demeanor at any point. A harmonica does howl on the Mason Jennings–like “Reign”; that's the closest Morby comes to rocking exuberantly. Mostly, he sounds a bit charmed (“Wild Side”) and a bit stunned (“Sucker in the Void”) at just how tough New York City is compared to the dreams one might have about it.