CD Review: Mikal Cronin's 'MC II' -- 3.5 stars
The sophomore album from West Coast indie rocker Mikal Cronin is a companion piece to his debut, which is to say it’s another likeness of a young man working his way toward adulthood. What could be a more well-worn path? However, every coming-of-age story is boring and powerful in the same way: its familiarity is its very strength, and all that sets it apart is the packaging. In Cronin’s case, his amp-friendly sound borrows from the key mileposts in power pop, melding the elegant power of Nick Lowe, the earnest confusion of Matthew Sweet and the electric adoration of early Weezer into an album with true velocity. These classic rock influences shine in the way “MC II” often dials up from the acoustic bounce of solo George Harrison into pedal-stomping choruses sopping with reverb, passages where the rumbling sense of becoming breaks free into the air.