Pete Yorn is finally carving out a sound that's uniquely him; no more Ryan Adams comparisons are necessary, for the Jersey-born singer/songwriter has written some of the most complex songs of his career to date with Nightcrawler. While the title might suggest something a bit more dark and dramatic, Yorn embraces the warmer sound of his previous work to create a rich, picturesque batch of songs. Having producer Butch Walker in tow is a great move for Yorn, too, for he finally seems content with his artistic place. In addition, producers Tony Berg and Michael Beinhorn focus on the simplicity of Yorn's familiar, country-inspired sound; however, those who reveled in the hungry delivery of his 2001 debut Musicforthemorningafter may question Nightcrawler's natural rock stamp. From the shivering slow build of "Vampyre" and the reaching desire of "For Us" (which also features Dave Grohl on drums) to the road trippin' golden tones of "Maybe I'm Right," Yorn sounds pretty self-assured this time out. The Kinks-ish "Georgie Boy" and the murky synth beats of "Same Thing" highlight more of an experimental side to the guitar-centered Yorn, and such a slight change in sound is swiftly done. The Dixie Chicks' Martie Maguire and Natalie Maines also lend a hand on "The Man," a classic ballad from the natural-born troubadour. Overall, Nightcrawler breathes easily, and despite it missing the fire of his first record, it's a worthy piece of work. "Undercover," which is featured on 2002's Spider-Man soundtrack, and "Splendid Isolation" from the 2004 Warren Zevon tribute Enjoy Every Sandwich: The Songs of Warren Zevon are also included here.
AllMusic Review by MacKenzie Wilson