Through pining comes purpose. Paul Cherewick, monikered Paul Cherry, makes a departure from pining for an unrequited love on his debut LP Flavour toward the hunger for creative fulfillment on Back on the Music. “Bouncing off the bottom: this pattern is the problem…” is the melancholic opening line of the new album, a meandering meditation on the life of an artist: chasing inspiration, finding community, and the struggle to maintain both. Throughout the buoyant, alright-on-the-outside tracks that make up his second album, Cherry staggers and stumbles back into love with his life and craft. Music becomes personified inside Tootsie Roll, becoming an ugly, grinning trench coated villain plucked right out of a vintage Max Fleischer cartoon, cooing to the listener, “You know you want me. Take me, take me,” harmonizing over his own voice. Almost as if through excess, inhibition and precise self-analysis, Paul Cherry may find quiet. In the luxuriant arrangement of the title track, Back on the Music he sings, “You love to play, but it don’t pay. Feels like you’re caught in check mate.” Not everything fits neatly within the lines of these songs, as in the lonely, wobbling flute melody that carries us out of It Happens All the Time. Cherry shows us that often the path back to one’s self—disguised in this album as Music—is a wavering one.