Timing Is Everything

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New York alt-folkie Block (aka Jamie Block) returns strong with his sophomore effort, Timing Is Everything, the follow-up to his critically acclaimed debut, Lead Me Not Into Penn Station. Comparable to such quirky artists as Beck and They Might Be Giants, Block offers humorous lyrics, but never treads on Weird Al Yankovic territory. The main ingredient of all the songs on Timing Is Everything is acoustic guitar, with other instruments and electronics filling up the space when needed. Such is the case with the upbeat melodic track "The Pink House Must Burn," which combines Block's strummed acoustic guitar and wry vocals with a recurring sitar sample, a freestyle rap, and a rocking, bouncy backing track. The album's opener, "3rd Mall from the Sun" (the title is a take-off on the Jimi Hendrix classic "Third Stone from the Sun"), is another unconventional highlight, while other oddities include the hard rocker "I Call Her Vicious," the mellow "Cigarettes, Prozac & Scotch," and an unconventional cover of the Perry Como standard "Catch a Falling Star." An impressive major-label debut for Block, who perfectly balances humor with memorable music. [The CD was also released with bonus tracks.]

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