First Listen: Mikal Cronin, 'MCII'

Audio is not available

Mikal Cronin's new album, MCII, comes out May 7. i i

Mikal Cronin's new album, MCII, comes out May 7. Denee Petracek/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Denee Petracek/Courtesy of the artist
Mikal Cronin's new album, MCII, comes out May 7.

Mikal Cronin's new album, MCII, comes out May 7.

Denee Petracek/Courtesy of the artist

Audio for this feature is no longer available.

The term "garage rock" too often suggests a disregard for craftsmanship — the idea that distorted guitars and agreeably blaring arrangements leave no room for impeccability. But Mikal Cronin's second album, MCII, mixes shambling rock with a perfectionist ear with quality control, as its star (who plays most of the instruments himself) applies a beachy sparkle to 37 minutes of fresh, fun rock 'n' roll.

Thematically, MCII focuses on one guy's efforts to process sweeping changes in his life — getting older, moving to a new town, falling into a new relationship — so it makes sense that it feels like the work of a young artist who's both newly grown-up and still growing. But the sneaky sophistication of its pop-rock sound is what really makes the record enduring: Inward-looking but notably less angst-ridden than its predecessor, MCII feels positively stuffed with briskly alluring, summer-ready, California-sunny earworms.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.