Pronto – All is Golden (CD)

Those expecting Wilco keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen’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 weren’t enough to excite the indie kids, the band’s current roster also includes members of Cat Power and Childballads. With strong harmonies, plenty of piano, guitars and occasionally a few horns, Pronto’s influences stretch back to 70’s rock; the songs “Precious Like a Sneer” could easily have been written by Randy Newman or Warren Zevon. The bare bones “Good Friends Have Gone” showcases Jorgensen’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 Pronto’s debut is just as impressive.

Top Tracks: “Good Friends Have Gone” and “Precious Like a Sneer”

Rating: 8.5 out of 10.

Pronto – All is Golden (CD) / 2009 Contraphonic /13 tracks

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