Pete Yorn has said that he wanted to make a duets record "in the spirit of Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot," but there's none of that famous French lechery here. If anything, this breezy Americana set shares conceptual DNA with She and Him, Zooey Deschanel's project with M. Ward: Hot indie actress plays tambourine girl to underappreciated singer-songwriter dude, fulfilling skinny-boy fantasies. Scarlett Johansson sticks to what she knows best — acting — doing her finest old-fashioned country girl on the first single, "Relator," while Yorn strummy-strums his guitar with visions of Big Star in his head. (Literally: They also cover Chris Bell's "I Am the Cosmos.") Break Up's nine songs have plenty of sweet harmonies, but there's just no sexual chemistry between these two friends. Even "I Don't Know What to Do" — the album's big breakup anthem — is less like a kiss-off than a peck on the forehead.
(Posted: Sep 8, 2009)