It’s been a wild few years for ex-Girls frontman Christopher Owens. In between a stellar debut (2009’s Album), countless lineup changes, two lush follow-ups, and the band’s recent demise, Owens has become one of indie rock’s most unlikely crossover success stories. On Lysandre, Owens’s somewhat out-of-the-blue solo debut, the fair-voiced singer attempts to step away from the Girls hype and tell his story on his terms. While uneven at times, Lysandre succeeds in recounting the year following Album — and the tours, excitement, exhaustion, and love that Owens met along the way. While the album focuses primarily on its namesake, a woman Owens met and dated during that year of touring, its aim is far wider. On “Love Is in the Ear of the Listener,” Owens opens with the line “What if I’m just a bad songwriter and everything I say has been said before?” and cuts to the heart of the matter. Lysandre is Owens getting back to his roots: questioning, self-doubting, and trying to figure out his place in this big, crazy world. It’s how we found him back in 2009, and it’s why we’re still listening in 2013, Girls or no.


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