Pedro the Lion [I]Achilles Heel[/I] Review

Complete with artwork from Jesse LeDoux, whose paintings graced The Shins’ Chutes Too Narrow, Achilles Heel has a much sunnier feel than Pedro the Lion’s 2002 masterpiece Control. His latest release struggles to reach the heights of his previous album, but Pedro the Lion’s only staple member, David Bazan, has never had a problem turning strife into vivid music, and Achilles Heel is no exception. The album opens with “Bands With Managers,” a familiar sounding and comfortable track prodded on by gently droning guitars and Bazan’s unorthodox vocals, but closer inspection reveals a playful spirit and an upbeat demeanor that betray the often heavy-handed, difficult musings of Control. However, even in Achilles Heel’s most energetic moments — “Forgone Conclusions,” “Discretion,” “Keep Swinging” — Bazan’s voice remains pensively uncertain, albeit hopeful, which is part of what makes this such an enjoyable listen.

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