Faded Photos

If you want evidence that Graham Weber can rock, proceed directly to Ashes in the Rearview, the new album by So Long, Problems, the Stones/Replacements-happy side project band he co-fronts with Mike Schoenfeld. But although Weber certainly does that hair-of-the-dog stuff well, fans of the Ohio-reared, Austin-based singer-songwriter’s handful of excellent solo albums since his 2005 debut, Naïve Melodies, know that what he really excels at are the kind of gorgeously melancholy musings that are best imbibed after last call. The short but sweet Faded Photos is par for that course, offering eight hauntingly melodic ruminations on memory, love, loss, and regret — or more often than not, all of the above (“Ballad of the 04 Lounge”). Unlike his last album, 2011’s female guest-laden Women, Weber sings every song here all by his lonesome, but his voice is still a beauty in its own right: as expressive and plaintive as Jeff Tweedy’s at its most vulnerable (“Boston,” “No One”), but distinguished by a keening shimmer that flickers around the edges here and there and comes to the fore with chilling effectiveness on “Talia.” That voice and Weber’s songs — as strong lyrically as they are melodically — would have been more than enough to make Faded Photos a prized keepsake; the unfailingly elegant arrangements, rife with evocative cello and additional strings, are just the icing on the cake. — RICHARD SKANSE