Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Mew - No More Stories Are Told Today I'm Sorry They Washed Away No More Stories The World Is Grey I'm Tired Let's Wash Away CD (album) cover

NO MORE STORIES ARE TOLD TODAY I'M SORRY THEY WASHED AWAY NO MORE STORIES THE WORLD IS GREY I'M TIRED LET'S WASH AWAY

Mew

Crossover Prog


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
3 stars Mew is a Danish art rock band formed in 1995. No More Stories/Are Told Today/I'm Sorry/They Washed Away/No More Stories/The World Is Grey/I'm Tired/Let's Wash Away is either their fifth or their seventh album (it depends on whether you want to count the re-releases with bonus tracks). After the magnificent ...And the Glass Handed Kites, this album was highly anticipated and the video-blog on the band's website only added to the hype. Has Mew continued in the ambitious, proggy direction taken by their previous masterpiece?

The answer is: partly. No More Stories is more sophisticated and diverse than Frengers (2003) but doesn't have the ambitious content of ...And the Glass Handed Kites, on which every song flowed into the next, full of instrumentals and powerful compositions. If ...And the Glass Handed Kites, with its dark theme of fear and seclusion, is like winter, then No More Stories is like summer: full of upbeat songs and overall a happier atmosphere. No More Stories consists of both simple and straightforward songs and more complex ones with tempo changes and some very interesting ideas. The first track, for example, will reveal a bonus track (with, albeit nonsensical, lyrics!) when played backwards!

This album will probably fail to please hardcore prog fetishists who disregard anything that is catchy or lacks mellotrons, keyboard solos and jazzy improvisations, but it will be very enjoyable for listeners of bands like Muse and Porcupine Tree. The shoegazy vocals, the catchy and awkward rhythms, the tempo changes, the poetic and creative lyrics: there's a lot to like about this album. Mew hasn't moved forward since ...And the Glass Handed Kites, but this album is finely crafted, made with a lot of love and care and filled with ideas and potential.

No More Stories is not an essential album, nor is it particularly amazing. It's simply lovely, unpretentious, playful music that anyone with an open mind will be instantly taken by.

Report this review (#250491)
Posted Saturday, November 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well can you beat And The Glass Handed Kites...well no, but Mew did try their best to make another album that would make a reviewer (me) happy. God, Mew can just procreate good music can't they. The proved so by this largely titled album (a poem as an album title, great job crazy Swedes.) This album I have to admit isn't as beautiful as And The Glass Handed Kites...but it is alot more happier.The songs are more jaunty and alot less haunting. Still a great album (they made this during the course of a member leaving as well, wow, even with grief they can remain happy).

1. New Terrain - Ok, very weird. Apparently if you play this song backwards, it's another song on the album. Very avant garde and experimental. Great song tho, despite the weirdness.

2. Introducing Palace Players - Good song, cathcy and effective. Happy melodies and great vocals.

3. Beach - Very disco like. Danceable actually.

4. Repeaterbeater - Definelty the most catchiest song on the album. Great chorus and weird intro. Again very disco like. (What is their obssession with disco)

5. Intermezzo 1- Arrpeggios on piano. This was there just to make sure you're still consciousness and not in disco heaven.

6. Silas The Magic Car - My favourite song from this album. I love the lyrics and the title. Very innocent.

7. Cartoons & Macramé Wounds - This actually could have easily been put on And The Glass Handed Kites. Great contrapuntal harmonies and quite haunting (harks back to the earlier album).

8. Hawaii Dream - Great interlude, just saying the album title basically.

9 Hawaii - Happy and disco like. You think this would get annoying, but it just gets better.

10. Vaccine - Nice use of the xylophone. I think this is New Terrain backwards.

11. Tricks Of The Trade - Kraftwerk like keyboards, and OMD like harmonies. Also kind of like a weird Michael Jackson song. Good song none the less.

12. Intermezzo 2 - Another interlude, to be honest, they're just as good as the songs themselves.

13. Sometimes Life Isn't Easy - How to you end of a very happy album. With a sad ballad of course? Yea, werid ending, but still great though. Very Glass Hands.

14. Reprise - The end. Very haunting. Good way to end of an amazing album.

CONCLUSION: Mew have never failed to satisfy me. Even this Aha/Coldplay supergroup being formed shall be amazing, due to Jonas being the lead singer and all. A more lighter turn than Glass Hands was, but still an amazing album. Buy it, the artwork is great as well. If you like Teletubbies, then this album shouldnt fail you (cause Teletubbies rock)

Report this review (#250983)
Posted Monday, November 16, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Wash away...

One of the things I've always liked about Mew was their ability to combine heaviness with melancholy and artiness which created a very interesting dynamism. "Frengers" and "And the Glass Handed Kites" were teeming with overdriven hard, heavy and catchy guitar riffs which stood in great contrast with the softer and more fragile parts. I think this dynamism is missing from "No More Stories..." and I suspect that it disappeared when Johan Wohlert left the band (interestingly, the latest album, "Black Luck" by his present band, The Storm, seems to contain all the heaviness that's lacking from "No More Stories..."). "No More Stories..." also seem more stripped down terms of production, thus being slightly reminiscent of the minimalistic "A Triumph for Man".

And there are a number of weak tracks on this album - unlike both "Frengers" and "An the Glass Handed Kites". "New Terrain" which is played backwards seems to pretentious and a waste of time to listen too, while "Silas The Magic Car" is rather bland, and "Tricks of the Trade" sounds like really bad early 80s synth-electro pop.

That being said, "No More Stories..." is still a very fine album with lost of good tunes on it. I especially like "Introducing Palace Players", primarily due to the way Silas Graae uses his hi-hat, and "Vaccine" is strangely drawing. "Beach" is a straightforward pop/rock song with a certain 90s quality to it and reminds me a bit of the three pop songs on "Half the World is Watching Me", while "Repeaterbeater" is reminiscent of "And the Glass Handed Kites" in athmosphere.

There are also several progressive moments on this album. "Cartoons and Macramé Wounds", one of the most progressive tracks on the album, contains a number of interesting time signature changes, and also changes character completely after around two minutes. "Hawaii Dream/Hawaii" are also quite progressive with their use of calypso-like instrunmentation that dominates the first half of the song, which suddenly changes into a bombastic rock song, containing several tricky time signatures. "Sometimes Life Isn't Easy" is also a quite progressive offering both Genesis-like drama, simplicity, ambience, poppiness and even jazzy elements.

Report this review (#254369)
Posted Saturday, December 5, 2009 | Review Permalink
TheGazzardian
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Before I became a fan of progressive rock, when progressive rock was just a phrase that described Pink Floyd and a mixed CD a friend had given me, but that had no particular meaning to me, I bought CDs that had songs I liked on them, for the songs. Every once in a while, I would pick up a CD that sounded much better as an album, such as Midnight Oil's 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 or Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. And I had a lot of respect for these albums, and enjoyed them immensely, and this is probably part of why prog grew so appealing to me. It is definitely a genre where the album is very important.

This album by Mew does not strike me that way. To me, this album is more like the albums I was buying before prog. The type of album that you listen to a few times, pick out your favorite songs, toss them in a playlist, and then play the playlist on shuffle.

Mew is a band that wants to be different. They made this abundantly clear with their packaging. The art itself is just zany, but there are plenty of bands who have zany art. No, Mew used different means to say that they are different - the album name (which is literally 8 lines long, the lyrics to the song "Hawaii Dream" off of the album), the name of tracks 5 and 12 (on the CD, they are represented by images instead of words - although on PA, they are labelled as Intermezzo 1 and Intermezzo 2), the font used (The s's look like cracked eggs), and lastly, they even made use of the bar code (expanding it to be taller than your typical bar code, so that it is actually part of the art on the back). If these clues were not enough to convince you, their singer (Jonas Bjerre) has been quoted saying:

"I think that we combine pop music with something that's much more experimental, in our own way. I don't think I would even try and describe it. It's difficult."

Unfortunately, for me at least, there is one thing about their music that robs them of this identity that they are trying to build, and that is their voices. Their singing voices always reminds me Death Cab For Cutie. I don't know if they were the first band to sing with this style of voice, but they were the first I heard and so come to mind first.

To be fair, while the sound of their voices is reminiscent of Death Cab, the way that they sing is wholly unique, and seems to follow few of the typical rules that pop bands follow, with melodies shifting and changing constantly as the music plays. Much like Moon Safari, their vocals are their strongest point, although with that statement I am not implying that their vocals are anywhere near as good as Moon Safari's were. Nonetheless, like Moon Safari, the melodies are often carried by the vocals and supported by layers of different voices singing different things or the same thing in harmony. At times, it is easy to forget that there are only three members in the band.

As far as the instrumental work goes, prog fans may find it lacking. When there are vocals, the instrumentals exist mostly to support the vocals, and there are vocals most of the time. That being said, in the short periods where the instruments get to stretch, they do do some interesting things. Introducing Palace Players, for example, has an opening drum beat that has very little to do with the guitar playing at the same time, making the intro feel off balance in a very interesting way.

This is perhaps the strongest strength of Mew compared to other song-based bands, is that they try to do new things with their songs. And while perhaps they're not all new (the opening, New Terrain, sounds like it was played backwards), they are at least varied enough to keep the listener on their feet.

Overall, the music is in general built upon consistent drum beats, catchy guitar riffs, and supporting keys that don't usually take the foreground. There is variety within the songs, with most song having some progression between elements, although some are closer to the verse-chorus song structure. Some songs are blessed with less standard instruments, such as some additional percussion on songs like Hawaii and Vaccine.

The best songs off the album are, as is often the case with song-based albums, the catchiest ones. The aforementioned Introducing Palace Players gets props here, although it loses a couple of points because the song is much longer than its creative intro. Silas the Magic Car (perhaps named after Silas Graae, the drummer) is a nice, mellower song, although like Introducing Palace Players, it repeats itself more than your average prog fan is probably accustomed to. In fact, Tricks of the Trade suffers from the same problem, although if it was half the length it would be an excellent track. The best tracks, in my mind, are Vaccine and Sometimes Life Isn't Easy.

The Intermezzo's, unfortunately, are not quite as interesting as the way they are labelled - each is entirely forgettable and, holding to my belief that this album is stronger as songs than as a continuous listen, don't really add any additional value.

Overall, a decent album for those who are looking for a few catchy songs to toss into a playlist, that want something a little bit less cookie cutter than the average song you would hear on that radio. My final score: two stars.

Report this review (#262440)
Posted Monday, January 25, 2010 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'No More Stories...' - Mew (7/10)

Hailing from Denmark, Mew seem to be one of the few bands in the progressive scene that are garnering attention for the mainstream audience, or at least should be. Melding a forward thinking attitude with contemporary alt-rock and pop sounds and you get something that is highly accessible to the casual ear, yet has enough meat on it's bones to be worth listening to more than a few times. Mew seems to marry these seemingly alien concepts together quite well, and realizes this with 'No More Stories,' a poppy, upbeat yet intelligent album that serves as a great first impression for this musical outlet.

'Dream pop' may be the best term to describe the direction the band takes as the opener 'New Terrain' slowly picks up pace. The first track certainly isn't representative of the band's accessibility; it is moreso a collage of sounds and sonic density jumbled together that seem to make a catchy tune regardless. In any case, it's clear that Mew isn't the sort of band that your typical preteen female will be listening to on her way to the latest vampirical romance screening... No, there's something beneath the surface with this music, even despite the deceptively simple interface.

'Beach' is a fine example of the band's poppy tendencies. According to lead vocalist Jonas Bjerre, this album is meant to be happier, dancier, and more upbeat than its predecessor, 'And the Glass Handed Kites,' which was certainly alot darker than this one. To that effect, this album does seem to have accomplished what they were trying to do with it. The faults seem to become more evident however, in the little interludes and snippets the band seemed to have thrown in there to make it seem like a more complete, 'proggy' product. Ironically, the atonal banging on the piano in 'Intermezzo I' murders the flow of the album, and would surely be a skip-over track if it weren't for the fact that the track is over before I can reach the 'next track' button.

The suite 'Cartoons And Macrame Wounds' looks like the band's attempt to maintain their progressive credibility, but in all truth it's alot less enjoyable to listen to for the most part than the simpler, catchier songs. It feels very drippy and overemotive in it's execution, although the finale seems to be a real exercise in harmony which I find very interesting.

The second half of the album feels a bit less engaging than the first, although 'Tricks Of The Trade' and the finale 'Reprise' stand out a fair bit. By the time the album is at it's half way point, it's pretty easy to see that the band is reusing melodies and segments in two or more sections over the course of the album. While some might cry out 'shameless recycling,' it gives the sense that the album (despite being a mere collection of songs and interludes at first glance) works together as a running, lucid journey. The track 'Reprise' finishes off the album, taking alot of the prior melodies in the album and throwing them in together to make a summary of sorts for the album, under the uniform guise of an anthem that sounds like it came out of Vangelis' 'Blade Runner' soundtrack.

This is beautiful stuff. However, the pop tendencies can be a bit overpowering at times and hurt the replayability factor of the album. In any case, if you're looking for what the sound of real 'modern' prog is these days, check out this album.

Report this review (#288596)
Posted Monday, June 28, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars No More Stories... is in my opinion the best mew album, the best album from 2009 alltogeather, and one of the best efforts of the last decade. The album blends melodies quite reminicent to pop genres, but with an instrumental sophistication, stylistic freedom, and sparingly experimentalism very own of the progressive rock genre. I would classify this as "pop for prog rock listeners". Pop fans would be bored to death by the long intros, the minimalistic changes throughout the songs (post rock influences over here), and the seemingly "useless" fill-in tracks. The lyrics sound like an-even-more surrealistic version of genesis' early songs. Much of them don't make any direct sence (or maybe they don't make sence at all), but the words and the images they create go very well with the beutifull soundscapes. Sometimes this also sometimes create a "sigur ros effect", meaning, the voice sometimes becomes more of an instrument than anything else. Although the album is very coherent and it should be listened from begging to end in order, i would point out as highlights "Introducing Palace Players", "Beach", "Silas the Magic Car" and "Hawaii".
Report this review (#343552)
Posted Sunday, December 5, 2010 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "No More Stories..." (full title: "No More Stories Are Told Today, I'm Sorry They Washed Away // No More Stories, The World Is Grey, I'm Tired, Let's Wash Away") is the 5th full-length studio album by Danish art pop/rock act Mew. The album was released through Sony Music in August 2009. The band chose Rich Costey to produce the album. He also produced the band's 3rd full-length studio album "Frengers (2003)". "No More Stories..." is the first Mew not to feature original member and bassist Johan Wohlert, who left the band in 2006 to concentrate on his family (and later on his new musical project The Storm).

The music on the album is the by now trademark sound of Mew. An artsy take on pop/rock with Jonas Bjerre's distinct high pitched helium voice in front. The band also still make use of odd time signatures in some tracks which provides the music with a semi-progressive touch. The music is still all about atmosphere and emotions though and this time around slightly less dark. At least compared to the dark atmosphere on "And the Glass Handed Kites (2005)". Like the case is with most of their output, there are some truly stunning moments on this album like "Introducing Palace Players", "Repeaterbeater" and "Sometimes Life Isn't Easy", but there are also too many tracks that don't stick before you've listened to the album many, many times. I guess I'd usually count that as a positive, as an album usually has longivity because of that, but in this case I have a feeling that it's the melodies that simply aren't strong enough.

I realize that sounds kinda harsh, but it should be noted that even the tracks that don't stand out to begin with are obviously still good quality compositions when you get to know them. I expect a lot from Mew though, so I would like to hear an album with only instantly memorable tracks like the ones mentioned above that are also intricate enough to warrant many listens.

"No More Stories..." features a professional and detailed sound production that suits the music well. Add to that the fact that the band are very skilled musicians and for the most part have written some intriguing tunes for this album and a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

Report this review (#1028660)
Posted Wednesday, September 4, 2013 | Review Permalink

MEW No More Stories Are Told Today I'm Sorry They Washed Away No More Stories The World Is Grey I'm Tired Let's Wash Away ratings only


chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of MEW No More Stories Are Told Today I'm Sorry They Washed Away No More Stories The World Is Grey I'm Tired Let's Wash Away


You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives