Published May 12, 2015In the year and change since Juan Wauters' debut solo release, N.A.P. North American Poetry, the Beets frontman's musical inclinations have not matured much. If Who Me? is any indication, the New York-based singer-songwriter's childish sound has just become more deeply entrenched. Of the 13 tracks, there aren't many that can't be clapped along to, and those that don't still bear a colourful and benign simplicity, not unlike, say, "Yellow Submarine."
Where Wauters does execute depth is lyrically. There's an underlying sense of existential wondering here, a noted change from his first record. The piano-driven "Misbehave" might only clock in at under a minute long, but the length puts focus on one of Wauters' grander ponderings: "Lately I've been thinking about what's right or wrong / I've been thinking about what it is to behave / and why do I choose wrong." Is this Wauters growing up? Hardly. But two albums in, he has a better understanding of himself.
Contrary to his debut record, which was recorded casually over one year, Who Me? was recorded in a tight, purposeful two weeks, and it's evident in the polish and punch of songs such as the groovy, Wes Anderson-score ready "I'm All Wrong."
Still, it's that childish appeal which remains most enduring and endearing. Here's hoping he doesn't lose it. (Captured Tracks)