When Greg proposed reviewing the self-titled debut by Telekinesis I thought: “Great! Who?” I had not heard of Michael Benjamin Lerner’s project, and after listening, I realize I was missing out on a gem. Reviews and my iPod classify Telekinesis as indie rock, but this is a pop album if I have ever heard one. There may be no synthesized music or the use of auto-tune, but it is still power pop in all of its simplistic glory. It is the Occam’s razor of music, where the simplest arrangement is the best.
By keeping the music basic, Lerner has created a tight album that is immediately fun to listen to and will have you playing it over and over. “Tokyo” has a nasty habit of getting stuck in your head and making itself at home, not leaving for several days. “Awkward Kisser,” with its 1960s style piano and drums will have your head bouncing side to side and is reminiscent of J Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers’ “Last Kiss,” just without all the tragedy and heartache.
The secret of Telekinesis’ success is full of songs like “Coast of Carolina” and “Imaginary Friend” which were made for drumming your fingertips along to the beat on a steering wheel. You may be asking yourself: How is this the secret of the album’s success? Great question; I like where your head is at. Telekinesis! is more than just a pop album, it is the perfect springtime road trip soundtrack. It is meant to be played in a car with the windows rolled down.
In the months that follow the breaking of the harsh winter, the sun shines harder, melting away the snow along with cabin fever. Young people take to their hand-me-down cars armed with candy bars, Mountain Dew, road maps (GPS navigation if they’re lucky), and (most importantly) their music libraries which are shared with friends in the confines of the vehicle cabin.
This shared experience of discovering a band or a song you had never heard of is paramount to the music fan. It is how we unearth new bands, new genres that we would not normally find on our own. This information exchange diversifies our taste in music. The perfect storm is when you come across a soundtrack that encapsulates the spring road trip cements that day with your friends as a positive memory for the rest of your life.
Telekinesis! invokes the recollection of those spring road trips, and carries the potential of creating new memories. I cannot think of a better album to usher in March with; I highly recommend picking it up and listening on a warm spring day.
And if you can listen to it in a car with friends, even better.