Peter Block: Peter Block

RIYL: Candy Butchers, The Beatles, Randy Newman

Peter Block has done what many others have done before him – assembled a solid batch of songs following the pain of a divorce. Block was divorced after 16 years of marriage, and channeled the pain of that and the physical pain from two herniated discs in his back into creating music. Along with producer Mike Viola of Candy Butchers fame, and with co-writers that included Viola as well as Tracy Bonham and Dan Miller of They Might Be Giants, Block has a record he can be proud of as he jumps full force into the next chapter of his life. The songs on here are bright and breezy, yet intellectual pop. But one of the reasons Block is so compelling is that no one song sounds the same. The best tracks are the opener “Die a Little Everyday,” a melancholy pop gem; the bouncy Randy Newman-ish “In a State,” which has some slick guitar and key production; and the sad but catchy “Good to See You Gone,” in which Block attempts to do his best Shawn Mullins impression. Block is clearly at his best when he’s going up-tempo. Otherwise, as on the pulsing slow rocker “Room Full of Empty Chairs,” he just sounds like he’s trying too hard. Either way though, this is a solid release if you’re into the adult alternative thing and a fan of good songwriting in general. (Engine Room Recordings 2010)

Peter Block website