Pedro the Lion Achilles' Heel

David Bazan has never been a man to hide his personal demons, whether they’re tied to religion, marriage, friendships or the human spirit. Known for his analytical lyrics that form the basis of some truly deep, brooding concept albums, Bazan has chosen to lead Pedro the Lion down a simpler path for his fifth album. Achilles’ Heel avoids the concept formula for a collection of songs that are much simpler and straight to a point. Bazan’s words are still as engaging as always, especially on "Arizona,” when he explores the poor state relations between Arizona and California, but the harsh realities he’s become known for have been quietly left off the menu. Though some hardcore fans may swallow deeply upon first listen because the "dark edge” is missing, Pedro the Lion is still as potent as ever. Achilles’ Heel summons a happier mood that seems to have been locked away for years. Hell, "Transcontinental” even sounds like a great Lemonheads tune and "Foregone Conclusions” sounds like the opposite of everything you’ve heard from him before. Even more convincing is the fact that Bazan has cosied up to synthesisers as they make guest appearances all over the record. (Jade Tree)