Written as a love letter to his Brooklyn neighborhood, The Gowanus Yacht Club was a bit of an experiment for Porter Block. For his fourth record, the pop rocker sought the help of 11 diverse song writers to collaborate on the record.
The result is a decent enough album with a few good songs, but easily forgettable soon after turning it off. The jangly guitar pop of the opening track, â€œYouthâ€™s Magic Hornâ€ is one of the better songs. Blockâ€™s vocals are pleasant and itâ€™s clear he draws inspiration from pop songsmiths like Fountains of Wayne and Jason Maraz. The problem with this release is it is simply not that challenging. While Porter should be applauded for experimenting with a slew of different song writers, the tracks tend to bleed into one another with very few exceptions.
(â€œYour Heart is a Broken Thingâ€ being one of them). With a stronger hand in the editing room, The Gowanus Yacht Club could have been turned into a strong EP, rather than mediocre full length with a just handful of standout tracks.
Rating: 6.8 out of 10
Top track: â€œYouthâ€™s Magic Hornâ€
Porter Block â€“ The Gowanus Yacht Club/CD/2009/11 tracks/2009 Engine Room Records