Owen

I Do Perceive (Polyvinyl)

Mike Kinsella must be getting tired. Since he took a detour from Joan of Arc in 1999 to begin recording his own material -- first in the group American Football, and now solo, as Owen -- the songwriter has quietly constructed a panopticon of doomed emotional scenarios that somehow involve beds or sleeping. On I Do Perceivealone, six of the eight tracks fall into this category, the most blatant being "Who Found Who's Hair in Who's Bed?" and featherweight "Bed Abuse." But as soft, hushed and fixated on nap time as it can be, the disc is far from narcoleptic. Amid all of the plush strumming and lovelorn cooing, Kinsella manages to spike his maudlin weariness with stinging anti-social commentary, paying lyrical tribute to Morrissey even as he paraphrases the Misfits. Unlike the similar-sounding Death Cab for Cutie, a band hopped up on its own bleating melodramatics, Owen's music occupies that tense, pregnant silence between between the rustle of PJs and the thunk of heads hitting pillows.

 
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