The album title American Scream should seemingly be attached to a horror movie, or at the very least a collection of frustration-venting punk tunes. So if you’re not already familiar with the work of PJ Olsson (he’s been putting out albums for almost a decade), you may be surprised to find American Scream full of music that makes you feel good.

Relaxed and chirpy is the order of the day for “Mother Honey,” a song that borrows liberally from Paul Simon’s “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard” (and a little from Simon & Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson,” too), while “Morning Girl” is straight out of the Crosby, Stills & Nash playbook.

This isn’t to say that Olsson’s a copycat – he’s not. He’s just done a very good job of patterning himself after artists who’ve been successful with well-written, acoustic-oriented songs. Fans of Cat Stevens will especially like what they hear from this blossoming troubadour.

Grade: B

American Scream is currently available.