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12 Desperate Straight Lines

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 15, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

When Telekinesis mastermind Michael Benjamin Lerner set out to record songs for the follow-up to his debut album Telekinesis!, he found himself with no band, a case of vertigo, and a wrecked van. The long-distance relationship that inspired his debut album's songs of wanderlust had ended, and Michael was inspired (by the heavy, fuzzy bass in Flin Flon's A-OK) to buy a bass guitar and again record with Chris Walla at Portland's Jackpot! Studios. The result is twelve new songs of heartache, anger, and even a little hopefulness.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 15, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Merge Records
  • ASIN: B004GH9ZL8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #203,264 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The second album "12 Desperate Lines" by the one-man-band (Michael Benjamin Lerner)Telekinesis is a great follow-up to the debut, if somewhat different in emotion and subject matter. The first album was poppy, fun, and upbeat. The songs, although criticized for not being extremely original, were simply,very catchy power pop, and although stylistically similar, the songs on the second disc have a darker edge. Evidently the artist had some hard times, involving a car accident, hearing problems and a breakup of a long distance relationship (that inspired the 1st album). Although I would never be one to wish bad things to happen to anyone, sometimes dramatic/traumatic events can lead to cathartic, very exciting and emotional artistic output. The result is punchier, more raw, and genuinely heartfelt.
The next thing you notice about this record is the fine Chris Walla (Death Cab For Cutie) production. It has dynamics,(something rare in our overly-compressed mp3 world) and a great dirty, heavy tone, particularly, the bass, which rumbles and bubbles and fuzzes throughout,(inspired by the band Flin Flon) almost overshadowing the guitar. Other little subtleties such as; acoustic guitar, keyboards and samples pop up delightfully as well.
This album is great Power Pop, with a little Post-Punk, New Wave feel, too. It has really catchy hooks and shows emotional growth in its songwriting. I hope he gets the recognition he deserves. 5 stars!
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By Mavhunter on February 15, 2011
Format: MP3 Music
Michael Benjamin Lerner's second album is just as solid as his debut. Things are slightly different, but there isn't a bad song in the bunch. It still, however, won't do anything more than entertain you as solid, solid indie pop, which is never a bad thing; the biggest changes come in the subtle incorporation of different genres, like the country rock riff on the last track. That said, 12DSL is one that won't gain Lerner any acclaim he hasn't already won, but will greatly please anyone he won over with his first album and anyone who stumbles onto this one.
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Format: MP3 Music
In contrast to the album's lyrical content, the music is fun, catchy, and, somehow, inspired by both old and modern styles of music. It's hard to describe, just listen to "Please Ask for Help". Sounds like a mix between The Cure and The Shins, doesn't it? That's probably the only song I can describe with such accuracy, but the rest of the album has a similar vibe, albeit with varying degrees of 90s and 80s influence. Ultimately, I think Michael Lerner just takes what he thinks sounds best from those time periods to inspire a fresh sound that became "12 Desperate Straight Lines".
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
this album is phenomenal. it is the in my top ten best albums of 2011.
Highlight Songs: Car Crash, 50 Ways, You Turn Clear in the Sun
I also highly recommend their song on another album, Coast of Carolina. No dissapointments here.
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Format: Audio CD
If you didn't fall in love with Telekinesis after the first album, you need to listen to it again. If you don't fall in love with Telekinesis after this album, you may be insane.

I strongly recommend this album to those who love Telekinesis already and to those who are new to it.

Undoubtedly, this album is a little darker than the debut, which is a result of a darker era in Lerner's life. It doesn't, however, fail to bring the same lovely, stuck-in-your-head kind of melodies that were introduced with the first album. The lyrics and lines of inspiring thought still remain, even with the obvious slight change of style which reaches more toward the alternative genre, the sound and style of Telekinesis is still clearly recognizable.

You'll be dancing along to the music not only with your body, but also your mind.

People change, and with them, their music, but it is clear that this change, whether temporary or pernament, is worthy of endless listens.

Go on, buy it.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I was introduced to this band by a friend who saw them at SXSW. They are great live with lots of energy. And this album is solid throughout with no weak links. I've been recommending this and their prior CD to all of my friends. Go see them if they come near you.
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