Starting strong with those home-styled, apple pie sensibilities, You Didn’t Know I Was Alphabetical quickly declines into another emo-folk album — a hair shy of Conor Oberst and not quite as satisfying.

“You, Too” opens the album, a heartfelt and sentimental track with light, folky instrumentation low behind Bond’s vocals. A blend of ruggedness and bleeding heart honesty ties each song together lyrically, but with tracks like “Skin And Bones,” a self-pitying element creeps in. Even the instrumentation and vocals move from light, acoustic playfulness to a dark wailing. Given a few listens, it gets better to tolerate, with Bond’s lyricism shining through and the folk elements holding the album together. Generally, You Didn’t Know… is a solid album full of variety — from the light, almost Shins-esque sunshiny anthem of “No Theme Summer (Pastro, PA)” to sadder and more melancholy tracks — and only a few duds.

Listen to “You, Too”DOWNLOAD MP3

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