Unfortunately, the musical backing is so sparse, the disc ends up driven by vocals and lyrics. Christopher mumbles like Son Volt frontman Jay Farrar strung out on downers, and he struggles to carry lightweight melodies. His contradictory everyman sentiments are perplexing, when not downright banal (in "By Myself," he reveals, "When I dream I talk to God/He's very nice"). Occasionally Christopher plugs in his guitar, only to produce awkward derivative clunkers. Sometimes the pastries aren't the only stale thing at the coffeehouse open-mic night.