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Mew - A Triumph For Man CD (album) cover



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3 stars This album is more of a 90s alt-rock effort than a progressive rock album, yet, it is very interesting. Unlike Mew later more symphonic releases, 'A Triumph for Man' (ATfM) is quite minimalistic, containing noise rock elements and obviously inspired by acts such as The Pixies.

This being said, the album is not at all devoid of progressive elements and it seems like Mew does aspire to appear as some sort of art rock act. For instance, the relatively simple opener "Wheels Over Me" includes a French horn and "radiowave noise" as part of the instrumentation and the complex drum pattern is both at odds and evens with the simplicity of the rest of the song. "Now Shadow Kick", while a typical 90s alt-rock song, is sung in an Asian language rather than in English, and the chorus - the catchy part - of the similarly Asian themed "I Should Have Been a Tsin Tai (For You)" is in an 10/8 meter. ATfM also contains, as the odd man out, a symphonic version of "She Came Home From Christmas" with a string ensemble and piano in addition to the typical rock instrumentation. There are also quirky elements on ATfM such as the fillers "Pink Monster", the bridge in "Panda",

While not progressive as such, the album is characterized by occasional use of unusual chord progression and guitar chords that were atypical in rock music at the time. ATfM may not appeal as much to progheads as to people with interest in melancholic alt-rock, but the inklings of prog certainly are there, and personally I enjoy listening to ATfM.

Report this review (#254343)
Posted Saturday, December 5, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "A Triumph for Man" is the debut full-length studio album by Danish Pop/ Rock act Mew. The album contains fourteen tracks and a total playing time of 47 minutes. I learned about Mew by reading reviews of their albums in Danish music magazines and by listening to the odd song played on the radio. I remember I wasn´t very interested back in 1997 when this album came out so it´s only recently I´ve given it a chance.

The music on the album is a kind of alternative pop/rock that if you know Mew is unmistakably their own. Lead vocalist Jonas Bjerre has a very distinct high pitched vocal style that instantly gives away the fact that your listening to Mew. Compared to the later albums by the band, which are the main reason why I´m interested in Mew, "A Triumph for Man" is a much simpler, more imature and not as ambitious album. Most of the album actually comes off as a very commercial sounding pop/ rock album albeit on the alternative side. I enjoyed the album but didn´t find anything too intriguing. On a sidenote it should be mentioned that the song "She Came Home for Christmas" was re-arranged and re-recorded for Mew´s international breakthrough "Frengers (2003)" and it´s definitely one of the highlights on "A Triumph for Man".

The production is allright but pretty standard.

"A Triumph for Man" isn´t an album that makes my blood boil and it´s doubtful that I´ll listen to it much in the future, but it does serve as a historical document to how Mew started their career and while the material on the album is pretty standard to these ears I do think a 2.5 - 3 star rating is deserved.

Report this review (#258077)
Posted Sunday, December 27, 2009 | Review Permalink

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