Photo: Marcus Palmqvist

Peter Bjorn and John – “Breakin’ Point” (Singles Going Steady)

"Breakin' Point" makes no attempt to undermine Peter Bjorn and John's tried-and-true formula.

Pryor Stroud: Taken from Peter Bjorn and John’s new album of the same name, “Breakin’ Point” makes no attempt to undermine the band’s tried-and-true formula. Like the best Peter Bjorn and John tracks, it’s glazed with breezy, windowsill-leaning melodies, crisp instrumentation, and crackling production that simulates the experience of listening to a ’60s guitar-pop record on vinyl. Indeed, it’s appealing for the exact same reasons that “Young Folks” was — and still remains — appealing: Peter Morén’s erudite, transparently fallible voice, a go-with-the-flow sonic ethos, and evocative lyrics that seem to teeter indiscriminately between cloying twee and pre-Vampire Weekend indie rock. But it seems to lean on this appeal like a crutch, becoming, in the end, another “Young Folks” spinoff that succeeds through familiarity, an enforced feeling of where-have-I-heard-this-before, rather than actual artistry. [6/10]

Chris Ingalls: The song has a nice, relaxing vibe, and while the whistling melody is sure to turn off listeners (I have a friend who lists “whistling” as one of his biggest musical pet peeves), I like the easygoing style. It’s hard to pin down what particular genre they’re grasping with here. It’s kind of indie/folk with a bit of a whimsical Beautiful South feel. The melodies get in your head in a nice, agreeable way. I could see myself whistling this all day. Light and breezy, but with a certain air of sophistication. [7/10]

Steve Horowitz: Ah, the temptation of ambition: give the song mythological trappings, a bit of Christ, and some desert and don’t forget to whistle. One man’s pretensions is another fella’s Bible. The song declares the singer is listening, but I think he must be the only one because the video has too many distractions and the lyrics just aren’t that interesting. [5/10]

Chad Miller: Pretty average melodically though it could have seemed a lot more interesting than it was with some additional help from the instruments. The music backing it was just as tame, usually repeating the melody with little if any changes. The production had some interesting touches on the other hand, but the track still feels very lacking. [5/10]

SCORE: 5.75