Juan Wauters

Who Me?

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Former Beets frontman Juan Wauters' second full-length Who Me? was recorded in two weeks in autumn 2014, and feels slightly more polished and cohesive than his solo debut, NAP: North American Poetry, which was recorded over the course of several sessions between 2010 and 2012. Like his debut, Who Me? finds Wauters continuing to hone his songwriting skills through Velvet Underground-inspired indie rock, which is more acoustic and folk-leaning than the garage rock of his previous band. Musically, his songs seem pleasant and easygoing, but his lyrics point toward uncertainty and self-doubt, with the brief "Misbehave" asking "why do I choose wrong?" Similarly, "I'm All Wrong" has a catchy, feel-good rhythm aided by handclaps, and the song even dissolves into applause at the end, but Wauters returns to the refrain "and I don't care if you know that I'm all wrong." "She Might Get Shot" has such a gentle rhythm that it might be easy to overlook the uneasiness of some of the lyrics, especially given the applause and light-hearted monologue that end the song. The album succeeds most during more fully arranged songs such as "Grey Matter" and "Todo Terminó," where the poppy melodies serve as a foil to the worrisome lyrics. In a surprising turn, the album's most lo-fi moments come during the amusingly amateur raps that close out the album, during which Wauters nods to LL Cool J. Like its predecessor, Who Me? is a showcase for Wauters' quirky, likeable personality, and balances introspective lyrics with laid-back instrumentation.

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