Pete Yorn, "Back and Fourth"

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Pete Yorn's songwriting has grown considerably since his 2001 debut album, "Musicforthemorningafter," where many fans discovered the New Jersey-based artist's music through placements on youth-aimed television shows and films. The songs on his fourth full-length, "Back and Fourth," reveal a more musically mature side of Yorn. But the set remains as lyrically brooding as his past material. New track "Paradise Cove" is the album's high point, with its summery folk-rock vibe and bossa nova accents. And "Last Summer" successfully channels the sounds of R.E.M. On country-tinged "Social Development Dance," Yorn delivers lyrics about love and loss, but an unexpected mention of Google seems out of place on the earnest track. But the song is an accurate representative of "Back and Fourth" as a whole - an introspective, guitar-driven effort that's worthy of praise, despite some minor missteps. --Jillian Mapes