PHILADELPHIA CITY PAPER
A firm believer in truth in labeling, Owen Ashworth's one-man outfit Casiotone for the Painfully Alone delivers clipped tales of love, ambition and resultant misery set to drumbeats likely preprogrammed into the keyboard on which he plunks out simplistic, inexplicably catchy melodies. "It Wasn't the Same Somehow," a you-can't-go-back-home ditty from CFTPA's brilliant 2003 release Twinkle Echo (Tomlab), laments a bunch of stuff that essentially isn't as good as it used to be; the song is comprised of, by this writer's count, three chords, one of which doesn't come in until the bridge. Yet you'll find yourself kicking up a cloud doing the Peanuts dance. You'll mope along with Eleanor and her Dear Jane letter on "Hey Eleanor," and grin knowingly at the Smiths-cribbing "Toby, Take a Bow" ("Heaven knows you're miserable now," Ashworth sings). A recovering filmmaker, Ashworth populates his yarns with rotting hipsters and struggling Gen-Xers. We find them so compelling because we kind of know all these people; hell, most of us are these people.