CD REVIEW – Michael Cera releases surprise solo album

True That / Michael Cera

True That / Michael Cera

by Tabitha Redder/managing editor

Somewhere in the back of the mind, it seemed like actor Michael Cera had musical talent. It probably came from the end of the film Juno when he played guitar on the sidewalk with Ellen Page.

However it was surprising to learn that he had “Beyoncéd” a solo album (referring to a surprise release with no publicity at all): True That Aug. 8.

“I would record a lot of the songs in the middle of the night just at home,” Cera said in a CBS interview Aug. 15. “I never thought anyone would listen to them.”

That sentiment definitely reflects in the album’s 21 tracks of instrumentals, covers and short YouTube soundbites.

Even the blurry, cameraphone photo used as the album art makes it seem casual and playful, almost like peering into his jam sessions.

“Of a Thursday” and “Gershy’s Kiss” are beautiful piano instrumentals while “Brat” is a cute one, reminiscent of a baby’s lullaby. “Those Days,” “Too Much” and “Steady Now” feature Cera’s guitar skills and have a tinge of sadness to them.

“I have to embrace that it’s kind of really sloppy, and the timing is strange and the recording quality sucks,” Cera said in a Spin magazine review.

So, yes, the quality is poor (“Moving In” sounds terrible in the car), but the album is worth a listen, even for those only curious about the actor’s music.

Cera has a “character” he’s mastered on film: geeky, awkward and soft-spoken. These tracks seem like something that character would have produced.

It’s definitely a mellow album to listen to at 4 a.m. while staring at the ceiling unable to sleep.