Michael Cera’s surprise folk experiment

Back in fall of 2007, a movie titled “SuperBad” was released.  It follows two socially awkward best friends, played by actors Jonah Hill and Michael Cera, going through their final year of high school. These two friends set on an adventure to make their last year of high school the most memorable time of their lives by partying, chasing their high school crushes and getting wasted on occasion. Most high school seniors were able to connect with Hill and Cera’s characters when trying to make their last year in high school a memorable one.  Some of us are familiar with Cera, a Canadian actor who plays the exact same nerdy, awkward, level headed and bland character in every movie he was ever casted in. 

Movies such as “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist,”  “Juno” and “Paper Heart.” Some may also know him from the TV show “Arrested Development”.   But an interesting fact one may not know is that Cera is not only an actor but he is also a musician.  Fans saw glimpses of his musical talent when he played the bass in “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” and when he picked up a guitar at the end of the movie “Juno” to play the outro song with Ellen Page.  Jonah Hill even tweeted out in support of his friend saying “My great friend Michael Cera not only is a brilliant actor, he also makes great music. Check it out: michaelceramusic.bandcamp.com” 

About a week ago, perhaps Michael Cera was trying to emulate Beyoncé when she dropped an unannounced music album last year. Cera released his own surprise debut indie-folk album composed of 21 tracks. He is aware of the comparisons with Beyoncé. “I mean, it does feel good to get the comparison,” said Cera in an interview with the Huffington Post. He also joked, “I get compared to her for a lot of other reasons and it’s nice to finally get compared to her musically.” He released “True That” with no partnerships with music labels or any promotions. Interestingly the album wasn’t produced and recorded in a studio but solely done using the app “GarageBand.”  “True That” is mostly composed of instrumentals, a few vocal tracks and covers of other songs as well.  A few stand out tracks are Cera’s cover for Blaze Foley’s country track “Clay Pigeons.” This definitely shows his talent with the guitar and vocals and it reminded me of some songs from the indie pop group “Bell and Sebastian.”  The track “Too Much” is an instrumental featuring only a guitar, which was just soothing to hear if you just want to relax and read a book.  Cera also plays an all-instrumental piano track “On a Thursday” which illustrates his interpretation of his own jazz genre of music.  But the song I liked the most is the last track titled “Silent Struggle (I was blind).” The track reminded me of outro songs played in indie movies. It wouldn’t surprise me if this track ends up in a one of Cera’s movies in the future.

Cera’s surprise album definitely shows a different side of him that is seen from his films.  He shows that he is musically inclined. His combination of playing the guitar and his work on piano instrumentals shows that he is more than capable of holding his own. Lastly, Cera’s vocal work is not something to look over, as it did not end up half bad.  In all honesty, “True That” is surprisingly quite good.  And without the ads and promotion makes the album more convincing to listen to. 

The album is available to stream through michaelceramusic.bandcamp.com/releases or buy it for $7.