Geoff Berner Light Enough to Travel

"Keep it light enough to travel," sings Geoff Berner, and he means it. All the instruments used to make his album - one accordion, exactly - would fit nicely into an overhead luggage bin. The six songs on this EP range from singer/songwriter numbers about heartache to playful tunes about suburban spies and PR scum. Berner succeeds in relating what being a kind of weird guy with an accordion must be like. The quirky instrumentation makes his sound unique, but turns out to be his Achilles heel; it's clever at first but eventually gets monotonous. While Berner knows how to conjure some interesting sounds from his squeezebox, and you can't fault his originality, he's pretty much pushed the format past its limits. Light Enough To Travel's static sound ultimately relegates it to the oddity bin. (Independent)