• Record Label: Merge
  • Release Date: Feb 15, 2011

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
Buy On
  1. Feb 17, 2011
    Desperate sounds like a series of well-executed demos, waiting to be taken up by a crack band and a singer who can make them breathe.
  2. Sep 13, 2011
    There are throwaways, but 12 Desperate Straight Lines moves Telekinesis in the right direction.
  3. 12 Lines is enjoyable enough to be worth its existence without seeming rehashed and a solid improvement over his debut.
  4. Mar 16, 2011
    12 Desperate Lines takes tried-and-true radio rock tropes and imbues them with enough life to make them feel fresh.
  5. Mar 9, 2011
    The charm of these songs won't last forever. They'll have their season in your heart or car stereo, their refrains will seep gently into your vocabulary, and at some point you'll stop needing them, but it's welcome company while it lasts.
  6. Mar 1, 2011
    12 Desperate Straight Lines is Lerner's second LP under the Telekinesis moniker, and it finds his introspection all the more labyrinthine, but his chops as a genuine architect nothing if not totally satisfying.
  7. Feb 24, 2011
    Bands in need of a catchy pop sound with a light edge should visit Chris Walla in Portland. The Death Cab for Cutie guitarist and producer can seemingly get this result from any artist he works with, including Michael Benjamin Lerner, aka Telekinesis.
  8. 50
    The more innovative tracks are definitely worth a download. However, a good portion of the album is basically filler.
  9. Feb 23, 2011
    Lerner's pop sensibility is still there, but now buried beneath distortion and throbbing bass, making this an intriguing, if not entirely welcoming, listen
  10. Feb 18, 2011
    The second Telekinesis album suggests that Michael Lerner's gift for hooky, college-radio friendly indie-pop shows no signs of abating.
  11. Feb 18, 2011
    No one would fault this solid sequel if it wanted to add some of its own exclamation points to its title.
  12. Feb 18, 2011
    In an indie-rock landscape where so many bands climb to eminence on the shoulders of pseudo-academic attention-seeking, a shrug and a good pulse can go a long way.
  13. Feb 18, 2011
    It's sustainable, technically sound, and part of a much bigger feast that happened a couple years ago.
  14. Feb 17, 2011
    Upbeat sentiment is scarce, yet there's barely a downcast moment -- no insignificant trick -- and somewhere Alex Chilton nods his approval.
  15. Feb 17, 2011
    Lerner has every inch of the stadium-indie minefield mapped out and slapped in plain view on his sturdy pop-machine's fulcrum.
  16. Feb 17, 2011
    While the hooks on 12 Desperate Straight Lines sink in easily, they're far from painless.
  17. Feb 17, 2011
    For 12 Desperate Straight Lines, the songs are still there, only this time some of the looseness of the self-produced sessions comes into play and the end result ends up being a marked improvement.
  18. Feb 17, 2011
    If Lerner just keeps on doing his thing, he's clearly getting better at it.
  19. Mar 28, 2011
    While Lines doesn't escape the limits of its genre--a little more substantial than an EP, consistent but not expansive--it plays its role well, and has enough moments to hold up beyond the first couple listens.
  20. Q Magazine
    Mar 9, 2011
    In time-honored fashion it rattles through a dozen tracks in a shade over 30 minutes, never getting close to overstaying its welcome. [Mar 2011, p.116]
  21. Alternative Press
    Feb 23, 2011
    For fans of hook-laden music, the album's a must. [Mar 2011, p.99]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. Feb 23, 2011
    The power pop sound of 12 Desperate Straight Lines does resemble Telekinesisâ