(3 out of 5)
Hearing Logan Lynn croon the lyric “into the black abyss” on “If He Hollers” is a bit of a disconcerting experience. The Portland-based singer is possessed of a plaintive and slightly effeminate singing voice, one that seems as gentle and sensitive as it is naïve. Given that “If He Hollers” is lyrically riffing on the sing-songy children’s rhyme about catching a tiger by the tail, that moment of bleak darkness is the sort of turn of phrase that’s likely to immediately refocus a listener’s attention on the fact that Lynn is far from a typical singer-songwriter. Not to mention the fact that, instead of a well-worn acoustic guitar and perhaps a neck-strapped harmonica, this singer-songwriter uses densely tracked electronica as his musical accompaniment. It’s an interesting approach, and although Lynn’s grating overuse of Auto Tune-style vocal effects quickly loses its novelty, hearing a songwriter break out of the traditional crunchy-granola style of presentation is refreshing. Unfortunately, that production – and those vocal effects – are better in theory than in practice; ultimately, the tracks created by Carlos Cortes are fairly unimaginative and quite redundant, resulting in sub-Postal Service indie-tronica, rather than a truly engaging chocolate-in-your-peanut-butter vibe.