[14 April 2008]
On his egotistical solo effort, New Jersey native Ken Hyland throws a variety of ideas against the wall, hoping something will stick and maybe even some record exec douchebag will come along and try to make him the next Jack Johnson or something. Hyland shifts gears repeatedly on this album. The list of atrocities is endless: ‘90s-era grunge rock, synthy new-wave pop, a piano ballad, an acoustic lament, a Rivers Cuomo rip-off, and an über-hyper fight song. These 13 tracks are a smattering of mediocrity whose egregiousness lies in their contrived, manufactured nature. As far as a self-portraits are concerned, Self Portrait may prove that Hyland is somewhat schizophrenic—or just an East Coast transplant playing rock star in sunny L.A.