By Lauren Taylor
Writer's Block, the sophomore effort of Peter Bjorn And John, falls short of the band's first album, Falling Out, with too strong a resemblance to similar cult bands such as Spoon and Deerhoof. Instantly reminiscent of the Shins, who brought retro pop back, Peter Bjorn and John write safe lyrics that do not bring the term "art rock" to mind. "I laugh more often now/I cry more often now" goes one tune, "Object of My Affection." It's simplistic stuff with a bit of boyhood angst sprinkled on top. The album does have its moments, including the thoughtful, skilled tones of "Up Against the Wall," that nearly save it. But not quite.
Rating: The Shins do it again with Wincing the Night Away!