Brooklyn knockout

ABy Brianna Riplinger Angst-ridden alt-country poster-boy Ryan Adams’ first producing subject doesn’t stray too far from Adams Territory. Jesse Malin’s debut solo album, “The Fine Art of Self-Destruction,” is characterized by moody breakup ballads and themes of suffering and loneliness. The songs are delivered in a vaguely defeated but proud demeanor, and Malin’s vocal style is wounded but unyielding.

On the infectious “T.K.O.,” Malin is full of uncertainty and sexual frustration, singing lines like the oddly erotic “Why don’t you live it up and buy me a drink/ Why don’t you give it up right here on the sink?” While his words are generally keen and literate, they’re too often marred by his strange, affected singing style. “Hat” becomes “howt” and “laughter” sounds like “loowfter” on the album opener, “Queen of the Underworld.” On the first few tracks it’s barely noticeable, but Malin’s constant idiosyncratic interruptions become quite annoying by the end of the record.

Hole and Smashing Pumpkins alumna Melissa Auf der Maur vocally fleshes out the tracks with her presence, adding depth and quality to Malin’s strained bits. “Destruction” is peppered with so many pop culture references it could serve as the pop-rock answer to the Beastie Boys’ “Paul’s Boutique.” Malin name-drops Lauren Bacall, Walt Whitman, Tom Waits, The Kinks, Jack Kerouac and Duke Ellington throughout the course of the album. Sometimes it fits, but when it doesn’t, it feels forced.

The piano-sprinkled and slightly plodding “Brooklyn” is a typical heartache song that laments a breakup with lines like, “You used to like the sad songs of doom and gloom/ You started out with nothing but throwaways/ You couldn’t live with me so you moved to Brooklyn.” “Brooklyn” is characteristic of most of the album: deliberate, gloomy songs that are usually eloquent and descriptive.

But the most exciting moments, like the sultry drum beats on the intro to “Riding on the Subway” and the pop-punk “Wendy,” are unfortunately more difficult to come by. If only Malin stuck to his rockier side, he could better serve his unusual voice and intricate lyrics.

Jesse Malin will perform at

8 p.m. April 11 at the 400 Bar, (612) 332-2903, 21+, $7.