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Mew - And The Glass Handed Kites CD (album) cover

AND THE GLASS HANDED KITES

Mew

 

Crossover Prog

4.05 | 106 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars And the Glass Handed Kites is the 4th full-length studio album by Danish experimental Pop/ rock act Mew. Mew broke into the commercial mainstream with their previous album Frengers (2003) but proved that commercial success doesn´t always equal shallow music.

And the Glass Handed Kites continue the dreamy/ atmospheric pop/ rock style of its predecessor but develops further on the progressive side of Mew´s music. The songs on the album seques into each other to form a musical concept. The lyrics are rather cryptic and not easy to penetrate, so I´m not sure there´s a concept there, but there might be. The band play with unusual time signatures and experiment with song structures but doesn´t lose one bit of their accessibility on the way. The music on And the Glass Handed Kites is still alternative pop/ rock at its core. Jonas Bjerre´s high pitched vocal style is defining for Mew´s sound, but the clever song arrangements, skilled playing and adventurous ideas in the music is also a trademark by now. The use of synths on the album is much more dominant than on earlier releases by the band which I find a real treat.

With 14 tracks on the album there are a couple of songs that doesn´t stand out as much as the rest and if the band had chosen to cut a few tracks I´m sure the album could have been even stronger. I mention this because after listening to the first 7 tracks on the album every nerve in my is screaming masterpiece, but after that it´s like the album dies down a bit until the beautiful White Lips Kissed comes in to save the day ( on the Japanese version of the album there´s an additional version of White Lips Kissed with Japanese lyrics. It sounds great). It´s a gorgeous track and it should have been the perfect ending to a great album, but then the band chose to put in Louise Louisa as the closing track. It´s a track which is much in the same vein as White Lips Kissed so it´s a bit of an anticlimax to end the album with two very similar sounding tracks IMO. As mentioned the 7 first tracks on the album and the way they compliment each other simply makes me loose my breath every time I listen to them. The intricate instrumental opening track Circuitry of the Wolf, the beautiful Chinaberry Tree, the dark Why Are You Looking Grave and the two hits Special and The Zookeeper's Boy are simply outstanding tracks.

The production is outstanding on this album. Clean and sharp. I can´t give enough praises to this sound.

And the Glass Handed Kites could have been a masterpiece and a sure 5 star album IMO, but when parts of the album aren´t as exciting as the best tracks on the album I can´t give more than a 4 ( which by the way is a very high rating). And the Glass Handed Kites is still an excellent album and even the songs, that doesn´t quite reach masterpiece status, certainly earn themselves the tag high quality compositions. This is the place to start if you want to check out Mew.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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