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Mogwai - Happy Songs For Happy People CD (album) cover




Post Rock/Math rock

3.91 | 189 ratings

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4 stars Happy Songs For Happy People is the fourth full-length studio album by Scottish experiemtal/ post rock artists Mogwai. I started my journey with the band a few months back with their debut album Young Team (1997) which I found was a good and professional album but not really to my taste. Then I listened to their second album Come on Die Young (1999) which I was very disappointed about. It´s still a rather good and professional album but definitely not to my taste and I thought to myself that I was never going to understand why Mogwai was such a praised act. That´s until I listened to Mogwai´s third album Rock Action (2001) though. What an eye opener that was. Beautiful and intelligent instrumental ( with a few exceptions where there´s vocals) experimental rock. Rather simple but with lots of layers of motifs and melodies that when put together makes a great whole. The music on Happy Songs For Happy People luckily continues down the same path and another great experience has been given to me.

The prominent use of synths, piano and keyboards on Rock Action (2001) is taken to new levels on Happy Songs For Happy People and those instruements are now a big and integrated part of Mogwai´s sound. The music is rather simple and alternates between mellow sections and louder multilayered sections. Great emotions are build out of the beautiful yet subdued melodies and often you have to listen really well to hear everything that´s going on. Even though they play a whole different type of music I think the French electronic pop/ rock duo Air is a reference that I will mention. Their use of layered melodies that compliment each other and generally mellow mood is very much like Mogwai´s approach (Mogwai has more rock elements though). A song like I Know You Are But What am I? could almost have been an Air song IMO. There are nine songs on the album and only one longer song in Ratts of the Capital. It´s a beutiful and powerful song that builds from mellow to a great climax. Other standout songs on an overall very strong album is the opener Hunted by a Freak, the beautiful and melancholic Moses? I Ain't which features cello and Killing All the Flies. But as mentioned Happy Songs For Happy People is a very strong album and there are no weak songs to my ears.

The musicianship is excellent. Nothing technically challenging but there´s lots of emphasis on emotion and attention to detail.

The production is warm and pleasant.

Happy Songs For Happy People hasn´t surprised me much as I did expect a great album from Mogwai after listening to Rock Action. The only fault I can think of is that maybe Happy Songs For Happy People sounds a bit too much like its predecessor but the more I listen to it the more the differences between the two albums become apparent, so I´m sure it´s just a matter of time before I´ll think of them as two entirely seperate entities. Happy Songs For Happy People proves that Mogwai didn´t just make a one-shot great album with Rock Action and they can now count me as a fan. A deserved 4 star rating from me. Excellent album.

UMUR | 4/5 |


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