Those expecting Wilco keyboardist Mikael Jorgensenâ€™s side project to play the same alt-country indie rock his full time group is known for may be in for a disappointment. Rather the Jorgensen-fronted Pronto sticks to a brilliant combination of classic AM radio pop with a healthy dose of lyrical cynicism. All is Golden, 13 tracks of truly imaginative rock music, was actually recorded in 2006 with members of Iron & Wine and Califone.
As if that lineup werenâ€™t enough to excite the indie kids, the bandâ€™s current roster also includes members of Cat Power and Childballads. With strong harmonies, plenty of piano, guitars and occasionally a few horns, Prontoâ€™s influences stretch back to 70â€™s rock; the songs â€œPrecious Like a Sneerâ€ could easily have been written by Randy Newman or Warren Zevon. The bare bones â€œGood Friends Have Goneâ€ showcases Jorgensenâ€™s no-frills vocals best, but just about any song of the album is destined to win over skeptics. It may not be Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Pt. II, but Prontoâ€™s debut is just as impressive.
Top Tracks: â€œGood Friends Have Goneâ€ and â€œPrecious Like a Sneerâ€
Rating: 8.5 out of 10.
Pronto â€“ All is Golden (CD) / 2009 Contraphonic /13 tracks