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Mono You Are There album cover
3.97 | 103 ratings | 10 reviews | 35% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Flames Beyond the Cold Mountain (13:29)
2. A Heart Has Asked for the Pleasure (3:43)
3. Yearning (15:38)
4. Are You There? (10:25)
5. The Remains of the Day (3:41)
6. Moonlight (13:04)

Total Time 60:00

Line-up / Musicians

- Takaakira Goto / guitar, string arrangements
- Hideki Suematsu / guitar
- Tamaki Kunishi / bass
- Yasunori Takada / drums

- Alison Chesley / cello
- Diana Parameter / cello
- Inger Peterson Carle / violin
- Thomas Yang / violin
- Susan Vøelz / violin, string arrangements

Releases information

Artwork: Esteban Rey

2LP Temporary Residence Limited ‎- TRR 98 (2006, US)

CD Human Highway ‎- HECY-1024 (2006, Japan)
CD Temporary Residence Limited ‎- TRR 98 (2006, US)

Thanks to Jimbo for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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MONO You Are There ratings distribution

(103 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(35%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

MONO You Are There reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by GoldenSpiral
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Meet Mono.

They're a japanese instrumental post-rock band, and theyre one of the best ones around. Often compared to labelmates Explosions in the Sky, I find them a great deal darker and more haunting. They have an eerie sense of harmony, dynamics and suspense. I have had the unique pleasure of seeing this band live, which can only be described as "out there".

On to the album: The first track, "The Flames Beyond the Cold Mountain", starts with near silence as very faint and haunting chords slowly fade in. Gradually more layers are added, the drums start to wail, and eventually the song is a dense cacauphony of crashing drums and screaming, fast-picked and heavily delayed guitar layers. This song is a great example of what Mono does best. They can take a simple theme and expand on it, continually adding layers upon layers until the intensity builds to a breaking point. Just when you think you will go deaf from the noise, they back off in favor of softer guitar harmonies.

The album consists of three 13+ minute epics, each separated by a 3 to 4 minute interlude. This is a very effective structure for their music. The interludes are usually softer, more ambient, and feature different instruments such as keyboards or xylophones. The second epic, "Yearning" is overall a bit lighter than the first, but still every bit as emotional. The music builds and backs off frequently, eventually bursting into a very loud chaos directly out of near silence. The third epic, "Moonlight", is more orchestral in nature than the rest of their music (which is normally based only on guitar, bass and drums).

This is an album to listen to with the lights out. You have to feel this album. As I learned during their live show, Mono are an experience, not a band. This is a great album from a great band, their best work to date, and an excellent addition to anyone's collection, but not quite a masterpiece... yet.

Review by Philo
3 stars After waiting for what seemed an eternity, Mono's You Are There album didn't live up to the expectations I had created for myself. I should have known better, I am a grown man after all and big enough, six foot five, not to let expectation get the better of me. Of course in the meantime I had obtained a copy of the brilliantly atmospheric, darkly menacing, contemplatively aggressive, One More Step And You Die. In the context of things, that album would look to be the point where Mono peaked, and it came very early in their career. You Are There is just lacking in any true depth. The band are playing better and tighter, the structures are probably somewhat more cohesive, but it's the creative element that has diminished from Mono circa 2006. The album, a double, is working on the same basic formula for each lengthy track, some of it hardly sounds any different than anything on the previous album, the one with the stupid long title which goes Walking Cloud and Deep Red Sky, Flag Fluttered and the Sun Shined. Like that one, Steve Albini records and mixes. Like that one, the recording is often left wanting, tired and lacking dynamics. Like that one, this is like that one. Confused? Yes, their are some very emotive parts coming through, as per usual, but the recording is sparse and fails to grab the last burst of life or just the simple [%*!#]ing energy out of the tracks way too often, especially on the more laid back string augmented tunes. The big and breezy and yearning "Yearning", as part of that split album (with Pelican), really did flatter to deceive. I waited a long time to hear this album and part of the problem in hindsight was the waiting. Yes, it's a good album, but is it good enough? Good enough for what you may ask and/or say. I had expected more from Mono at this stage, but growth does not seem to be their strongest feature. You Are There is regressive progressive rock, and music of our times. We probably deserve it. I hope for their sake they don't continue to use Albini for their next outing because something tells me that if they do the results will not be a million miles away from this one, or the previous album which was also a double album release. If that becomes the case I'll be keeping my money firmly in my pocket.
Review by Prog-jester
5 stars Yes, we are there and will stay here as long as you need us, oh mighty japanese Post- Rock creature !!!

The first time I heard the band, I thought of some kind of unknown GYBE/EitS jams now released on CD. Fortunately not - they're real band, from Japan, and they play the best kind of Post-Rock now since GYBE had gone on vacation. They're DARK, MELLOW and sometimes ETHEREAL, but they're also ROUGH, WALL-OF-SOUNDful and MELODIC. I use to hum "Human Highway from their debut" frequently y'know...

"You Are There" is a mirror-like album where each side reflects another - a long track, a short track and a closing long track. Long ones usually start with tremolo guitars and then build up to hardly bearable crescendoes which makes you feel as if you're somewhere in the mountains where you lack air and you have to breath deeper but you're still can't get enough...Shorties are usually piano-bells-violins pieces, extremely melodic and cinematic.

I've no problems with giving 5 stars to an album which truly DESERVES it. "You Are There" is a northern song sung by dark angels, and you MUST hear it. Highly recommended.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars I was surprised at how mellow this music was, especially "A Heart Has Asked For The Pleasure" , "Are You There ?" , and "The Remains Of The Day". The other three longer tracks start out quiet but build slowly to an all out sonic assault.There are 3 guest musicians playing violin as well as 2 guest musicians playing cello, while the band is made up of 2 guitarists, a bass player and a drummer.

"The Flames Beyond The Cold Mountain" slowly builds with gentle guitar melodies until 6 minutes in when we have a full sound. At 8 1/2 minutes we have a powerful wall of crushing sound. The song calms back down to the same gentle guitar melodies from earlier before we are blasted again 12 minutes in. "A Heart Has Asked For The Pleasure" is a pastoral song that features intricate and delicate guitar throughout. "Yearning" opens quietly with gently picked guitar that makes me think of the title. 4 minutes in it starts to build as the drums come in. It gets emotional for me 6 1/2 minutes in for some reason before they are on fire a minute later.They burn for over 4 minutes ! Then it calms back down.

"Are You There ?" is a beautiful song with violin and cello as it slowly builds. Again there is so much emotion here after 6 minutes. It settles back down as the strings are joined by the guitars. "The Remains Of The Day" is another beauty with piano melodies and what sounds like rain falling. "Moonlight" starts off on the wrong foot for me as I just can't get into the first 3 minutes.Then the strings come in followed eventually by the guitar as it builds slowly 7 minutes in. The rest of the song becomes very intense. Nice.

I really like this band a lot and in particular this cd. Highly recommended !

Review by burritounit
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Mono is possibly one of the best post rock acts there is and "You are There" is the proof to support that statement. You are There is an extremely emotional album that has a melancholic feel to the music as Mono is not your typical post rock band yet it's being compared to other post rock bands such as Godspeed You! Black Emperor and other bands of the same genre because of their dark intriguing melodies. Their music tends to be a bit of simple but creates an extremely dark atmospheric melody filled with emotions flying all over head as you listen to it.

The first song The Flames beyond the Cold Mountain is an incredible introductory track of the album with a dark, hunting yet melodic sound with a huge explosive crescendo. The only flaw in this song was the ending because it's so boring and lacking. I usually tend to skip this part most of the time. A Heart has asked for the Pleasure isn't that much of a complete song (it actually is). I would just simply consider it much more like a transition for the next song because it has nothing that outstanding. Yearning on the other hand sounds a bit creepy and hollow at least in my opinion. After the first part Mono makes a short silenced part that lasts a couple of seconds all just to explode immediately of to next part in which I must admit that it really scared me a lot as it made me jump out of myself (it still scares me though). The ending is quite usual as the music starts to fade out slowly. Are you There? Is one of the most depressing songs I've ever heard out of all the music I've heard. It has the same rhythm for almost the entire song with barely no crescendo as you would normally find in other post rock bands. The Remains of the Day is yet another transitional track (at least in my opinion) which has the same melody on the whole song driven by a piano instead of a guitar. Nothing outstanding to listen. Moonlight is the most stand out song of this album, following the same formula of melancholic melodies with incredible dark rhythms and atmosphere with a sad ending of "hope".

In overall the album is a great album with just a few flaws that can be easily ignored. You are There is an intensive experience of emotional music. Recommended for fans of GY!BE and Explosions In the Sky and of post rock itself.

A true post rock masterpiece yet I find that something is missing. Close to five stars.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars My favorite of the MONO albums, I very much admire their overall approach to the Math Rock/Post Rock sub-genre: full of power and emotion, thick atmospheres with stellar instrumentalism. The guitar is especially powerful for its out-of-the-ordinary "soloing" feel as the pick or fingers rapidly, rhythmically pluck a single string while a single note sustains an then slides up or down the same string. Very talented. Drums entering at the high 'crescendo' parts are strong and yet do not overpower the guitars. Electric guitars in these parts are often very distorted.

1. "The Flames Beyond the Cold Mountain" (13:29) (26/30)

2. "A Heart Has Asked for the Pleasure" (3:44) simple but pretty. (8.6666667/10)

3. "Yearning" (15:38) a long song that takes a few turns that almost lose me. As things begin to thicken and gain momentum in the seventh minute, I find the melodies quite satisfying despite the strings accompaniment sounding a bit like a Mellotron. Then the prerequisite calm comes at 7:30--but only briefly as the full wall of sound comes exploding back within 20 seconds--to great effect! I love the djenty low end (bass) and near-constant crash of cymbals. This tremolo guitarist is truly amazing! Then there is the unusual (for the Post Rock genre) prolonged comedown after the storm--a full two and a half minutes--to the song's finish.(26.75/30)

4. "Are You There?" (10:25) my first favorite Mono song. Such a starkly beautiful opening, two slow-builds and crescendos with another prolonged tender dénouement. (18/20)

5. "The Remains of the Day" (3:41) crowd noises and tremolo guitar in the background as child-like piano plays in the foreground. Very SIGUR RÓS-like. Beautiful if simple. (9/10)

6. "Moonlight" (13:04) gently tremoloed guitars with Fender Rhodes electric piano. Strings join in at the end of the third minute but they're a bit too uniform for my tastes--offering little that a keyboard couldn't provide. At 3:40 there is a return to the stark soundscape of two (or three) electric guitars interplaying. One goes tremolo while the other maintains the main melody and pace as the drummer begins to provide cymbal play. Female voice as if caught in a conversation in a café or kitchen appears in the background as drums and bass join in. The music is building as we reach the seventh minute--where the drums and orchestra issue full power (though not necessarily full dynamics). Walls of sound reach their fullest in the ninth minute but then the volume and power slowly begins to back off, one instrument at a time, until the tremolo-strumming distorted electric guitar is left as the main noise-maker. The main lead guitar maintains a constant dedication to the main melody to the end despite chaos and cacophony occurring in the genlty collapsing soundscape around him. Nice concept and construct though anchoring in that one melody for so long gets a bit monotonous. (22/25)

Total Time 60:00

B/sold four stars; You Are There is an excellent addition to any prog lovers' music collection.

Review by Warthur
3 stars I actually like Mono's You Are There a little less than their preceding albums; it's still a well- produced and well-performed post-rock calvacade, but I think the soundscapes in question are a little less well-judged. For the sort of slow post-rock sound Mono go for, judging exactly how long to let the quiet parts rumble on for before breaking out in a loud instrumental crescendo is crucial, and I think this time around their judgement calls are a little off. Still, anyone who enjoyed the previous three albums will probably find You Are There to be a reasonable addition to their collection; I just don't think it should overshadow their previous work.

Latest members reviews

4 stars 4.5 stars really. It's good to see Mono's new 2009 album 'Hymn to the Immortal Wind' getting lots of recognition. (Currently number 4 in the PA top 100 of 2009). This 2006 release is also excellent. Mono are one of best Post Rock bands out there. The cellos and violins in the background d ... (read more)

Report this review (#241995) | Posted by digdug | Tuesday, September 29, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Mono- means one. but this band uses far from one beat and far from one mood mixing emotions up within the listener and using multi-tonal instrumental pieces to suck you in and make you not want to touch the cd player till its completion. ... (read more)

Report this review (#161907) | Posted by shentile | Saturday, February 16, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Mono sounds a bit like the result of copulation between Explosions in the Sky and Godspeed You! Black Emperor with a hint of Pelican thrown in for good measure. Mono is probably the slowest-feeling post rock band I've ever listened to, but that doesn't necessitate a delicate sound by any means ... (read more)

Report this review (#114298) | Posted by CaptainWafflos | Monday, March 5, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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