Glen Yoder’s “When the World Was Young”

This will be straightforward (so you can stop reading after the first sentence if you like): Glen Yoder’s music is for the 12 to 16 year old youth groupers at your local church.  His music is showy, pseudo-new wave pop, without any substance or verifiable shimmer.  I mean, if you like a dash of Owl City in […]

Beth Yeckley

5
out of 10

Glen Yoder
When the World Was Young
May 1, 2010
Unsigned

This will be straightforward (so you can stop reading after the first sentence if you like): Glen Yoder’s music is for the 12 to 16 year old youth groupers at your local church.  His music is showy, pseudo-new wave pop, without any substance or verifiable shimmer.  I mean, if you like a dash of Owl City in your life, then maybe you could play through this EP a couple times and walk away satisfied.  But overall, there is nothing compelling about the music or the lyrics.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand his message.  Songs like “Hollywood” reflect the feeling that Hollywood is far from wholesome, and is there anything really fulfilling on the boulevards?  But his thoughts are translated into whiny singing and a low, brooding guitar in the background that’s almost reminiscent of a sad Blink 182 song, but lacking the engaging percussion that could make it a foot-tapper.

“Hope” talks about how “Under His blood you see the sons and daughters are dancing free,” and while it starts off with dance-y, contagious, and riveting intro, the vocals feel less like singing and more like fast-talking.  In “Greenland,” Yoder tries his hand at an echoing voice, but it winds up competing with the guitars and percussion.  Frankly, Death Cab For Cutie wrote a better song about a highway with “405”—Yoder managed to make an entire country sound boring in the span of four minutes and thirty-five seconds.

“Goodnight, Goodnight” is the only interesting song on here, instrumentally.  It sounds less processed and competitive, more genuine and engaging.  It’s got a standoffish, slightly moody guitar in the background, flowing over the residue of chords left by the other one.  His vocals don’t sound like they’re begging for an audience, which is entirely refreshing.

But by this point, I am ready to say goodnight, Glen Yoder.  May his music find its way to a youth group meeting on a Wednesday night, where processed and uninspiring B-grade pop music thrives among strobe lights and smoke machines purchased at Spencers.  And may those kids enjoy it!