Break Up may be a breakout album

Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johansson give the heartbroken something to smile about when old-fashioned bluegrass meets new-wave synth pop.  Break Up, a vocal collaboration between Yorn and Johansson, seems to read like a diary of splitting up with a lover.  Anyone who has been in a relationship can relate.

Songs like “Wear and Tear,” or “Relator” question the stability of a relationship.  Why am I with this person?  Where am I going?  Tracks like “Someday” have the person wanting to move on through lyrics like, “With all the changes and all that stays the same, I think I’ll leave the past behind.”

Each track has a unique blend of acoustic, electric and synth elements and none sound the same. For example, “I Don’t Know What to Do,” a soulful song with bluesy undertones, differs from indie pop “I Am the Cosmos.”

Yorn and Johansson play off each other as both voices emphasize the relaxed vibe of the album.  Johansson’s voice seems almost identical to Zooey Deschanel’s voice in her debut album with M. Ward under the name She & Him.

The songs seem muffled at certain points, but as a whole, the record is well produced. It has something for everyone, even for those not in relationships.

“Break Up” may just be the breakout album of 2009.

Rating: 3 out of 4 Stars

Release Date: September 15

Producer:  Sunny Levine