Good News For People Who Love Bad News
By Katy S., Delta Secondary, Delta, BC
It has been four years since Modest Mouse has released a full-length C.D. In that time, one of the group's founding members-drummer, Jeremiah Green, left the band behind to pursue other endeavors. The band's front member, Isaac Brock, began a musical side project: Ugly Cassanovas. This C.D. exhibits these changes in the group and its dynamics, being by far their folksiest compilation to date. None the less, the band's refreshingly individual sound remains.
With a well-balanced collection of songs, this C.D. offers highly emotional lyrics, about the perils of life, filled with beautiful imagery. Eloquent lyrics like "Oh we mumble loudly, wear our shame so proudly," work satisfyingly well on many levels. Songs vary from the gentle tunes of Ocean Breathes Salty and, the current single, Float On, to the furious pieces Dance Hall and Bukowski. As a whole, the C.D. flows smoothly from one song to another. The songs are well balanced with each other, and regardless of the tone of the individual songs, each one contains Brock's unique lyrics. On this C.D., in typical Modest Mouse fashion, the band vocalizes, with a new spin, feelings of anguish, desperation and isolation. They voice feelings everyone has in a way that is not only free of trite or hackneyed clichés, but also beautiful and more than just enjoyable to listen to.
This C.D. is mellower than past Modest Mouse efforts. Although songs like Bukowski do play their part, the calmer songs such as The World At Large populate the majority of the C.D.. The overall tone of the C.D. is although perhaps not optimistic, accepting and at peace with the world. The band has grown up and their music is growing with them.
Despite the difference from past compilations, this one remains true to the very distinct style of Modest Mouse. Their eclectic sound is produced from a diverse group of instruments. The band makes use of the timpani, banjo, melotron as well as many others. Using their keen ear, Modest Mouse is able to use all of these instruments without falling into the trap of making the album sound "busy" or crowded. Their melodies are richly harmonious and stylistic. Songs like Satin in a Coffin are catchy and an excellent showcase of their original sound.
Overall, this is a C.D. worthy of recommendation to Modest Mouse fans old and new. It is a collection of both aesthetic and emotional value. This is a C.D. that will not get tired; each listen brings forth new subtleties and levels.
After more than ten years together, Modest Mouse proves that some things, do in fact, get better with age.
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