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Mew - Frengers CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.95 | 60 ratings

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Time Signature
5 stars Breakthrough...

"Frengers" was Mew's big breakthrough, and it was an instant hit in their native country Denmark, which in itself is somewhat of a feat, given that the Danish music industry has generally been oriented towards mainstream pop, leaving alternative and progressive rock music buried in the underground (which many prog fans don't mind of course).

It's no coincidence that "Frengers" became such a big hit. A large portion of its tracks are highly improved versions of track already released on the "Half the World Is Watching Me"-album; these tracks are "Am I Wry? No", "156" (although, I miss the really quirky opening of the original version), "Symetry", "Her Voice Is Beyond Her Ears", and "Comforting Sounds". This means that the tracks have been "tested" before, allowing Mew to fix things that did not work and further enhance those that did. In that sense "Frengers" is really an epitome of musical perfectionism. There is only one weak track on the album, and that's "Symmetry", which I personally think is boring. All the other tracks are great. They balance artiness, fragility, bombasticness, heaviness, and catchiness very well.

While not as progressive as "And the Glass Handed Kites", "Frengers" does contain many progressive moments, a lot of which are inherited from the "Half the World"-album through recycling of songs (well, it's not really as much recycling as it is upgrading). Thus, "Comforting Sounds" is even more epic and symphonic on "Frengers", and the bolero-effect is much more convincing here. "Am I Wry? No" retains the symphonic waltz bridge, but a better production makes it sound more grandiose. Several of the "new" songs also contain progressive elements. "Snow Brigade", my favorite Mew song of all time (sorry, sinkadotentree ;-) ), while hardhitting and generally accessible, contains a bridge in which the guitar pattern interchanges between 11/8 and 13/8 while the drums follow an AC/DC-style 4/4 (which all adds up in the end). Several guitar riff all over the record contain strategically placed breaks, and themes are also repeated with variations in several songs. The drumming is superb changing from rhythmically complex figures to straightforward drumming, which really shows what a great drummer Silas Graae is.

If you're into melancholic alt-rock, you'll love this album, and if you have a wekaness for progressive music, but don't mind some poppiness now and then, then this album might also be something for you.

Time Signature | 5/5 |


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