Telekinesis Dormarion

Telekinesis main man Michael Benjamin Lerner, a chirpy musical sibling of Apples in Stereo and Death Cab for Cutie (whose Chris Walla produced both previous Telekinesis records), has hitherto made an admirable career exporting heartbroken, classic-sounding nuggets from his gleaming indie-pop lab. There's more of the same on Dormarion, the singing drummer's reliably affable third album for Merge, which has a little something for everyone, but stops short of total engagement, like a slightly too tipsy party host. Still, what Dormarion lacks in durability it makes up for in pumping, mechanical bravado. Feisty pop licks and emotionally fraught yet buoyant verses recall underrated Jon Brion LP Meaningless, or Elliott Smith with a dopamine boost. You have to wonder, however, why a man of Lerner's demonstrable talent restricts himself within such claustrophobic borders. Hopefully, Lerner will renew his creative passport before he's the only person left banging the Telekinesis drum. (Merge)