While the late Epic Soundtracks had an interesting résumé of primitive quirk-rock with the Swell Maps, the Jacobites, and Crime and the City Solution, nobody ever expected him to turn into an engaging singer/songwriter with influences ranging from Alex Chilton to Jimmy Webb. On his second solo outing, Soundtracks plays piano, guitar, bass, and drums all by himself while accepting only the slightest musical embellishments from some friends. Although his fragile voice isn't beautiful, the man tackles soaring melodies with authority and charm. Songs like "Don't Go to School" and "Tired Eyes" are stripped-down piano-and-voice meditations that emerge both plaintive and compelling. This is a modest yet haunting effort by a talented musician who made himself over into an unusual pop craftsman.