Reviewed by Austin Powell, Fri., Aug. 28, 2009
Danny MaloneCuddlebug (Township)
Danny Malone is the type of guy you can't break up with for fear of the consequence. His sophomore full-length, Cuddlebug, successfully conjures that walking-on-eggshells feeling, most notably in the standout soft rock of "My Affection," in which he confides: "Maybe I'm a little bit unstable whenever I come around. I'm the brick through your bedroom window. Maybe you should think of leaving town." Unlike the early bedroom bloodletting of Bright Eyes, Malone never takes himself too seriously and has enough off-kilter edge to pull it off. He trades secrets for scars in upbeat opener "The Secrets You Know," only to mourn the outcome in "Song for the Year" and pick up the pieces in "Silence." The full-band orchestration for "Needle in My Eye" and "Who You Know" is comparable to that of Okkervil River's The Stage Names, the amber harmonies of Heidi Johnson perfectly complementing his nasally croon throughout.