Paul Michel's fourth album, Quiet State of Panic, filled with tracks about loneliness and wistful romance, would make the perfect soundtrack for a sequel to Wicker Park. Where else will we find room for another sentimental guitar player, what with so many John Mayers and James Blunts running around? Michel succumbs to the niche's demand for falsetto yearnings about ex-girlfriends, but his vocal range, keen emotional instincts, and wise use of background instruments - particularly the cellist who enriches every track - make him unique. His album is not perfect: solid tracks like "This Weary Boy" and "Fire Theft" are bogged down by dead-ends like "Your Name is Icarus." But it's a good release by a musician who knows what he's doing - most of the time.


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