Spanish lush pop project Pájaro Sunrise originally consisted of Yuri Méndez and Pepe Lopez, before the duo took on Mario Delgado as a third member. The trio disbanded mid-way through recording 2009's sprawling Done/Undone, however, and now Méndez records with a larger group of musicians. Although a fleeting presence at just eight songs and less than thirty minutes, the resulting third LP Old Goodbyes struggles to hold the attention.

Any suggestion that this material is lightweight, however, could hardly be further from the truth. Méndez writes and sings on primarily romantic subjects with a palpable seriousness and conviction which is admirable, but which simply isn't backed up with strong melodies. Our guide - a native of León in northern Spain - reputedly has a substantial vocal range, but his clipped, mumbling delivery here provides little evidence of one.

Instrumentally, the songs are constructed more than competently but never engagingly enough. Only the sudden quickening in the lengthy 'Ribbon' jolts the record from its consistently middling tempo, a feature which has the effect of blurring these songs together even more. There's something agonisingly functional about the way the guitars, drums and especially the woozy organ seem content to simply plod along, none of the players seeming brave enough to turn in an attention-grabbing performance.

Méndez is a productive songwriter and if the songs on Old Goodbyes were found on another of his larger, braver records their staid inoffensiveness could be more easily forgiven. The fact is that these eight tunes are meant to represent a cohesive artistic statement and as prettily recorded as they are, they feel like wrapping paper on an empty box. Beneath the pleasantly hazy atmosphere on the surface there lies a decidedly shaky frame of fundamentally weak songwriting. Just half an hour doesn't leave long before the cracks begin to show, and before Old Goodbyes becomes impossible to recommend.