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Mr. So & So


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Mr. So & So Truths, Lies & Half Lies album cover
3.79 | 45 ratings | 3 reviews | 11% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2013

Songs / Tracks Listing

3.Truths, Lies & Half Lies
4.House Of Dreams
5.Looking Glass
7.You're Coming Home
9.Time For Change

Line-up / Musicians

Shaun McGowan - Bass & Vocals
Dave Foster - Guitar
Charlotte Evans - Vocals
Stuart Browne - Drums
Andy Rigler - Keyboards

Releases information

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
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MR. SO & SO Truths, Lies & Half Lies ratings distribution

(45 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(53%)
Good, but non-essential (22%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

MR. SO & SO Truths, Lies & Half Lies reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Nowadays more and more bands are using the crowdfunding system to get their albums done. It's a clean and smooth way of being able to record and release your albums being an independent and out of the big media kind of band. Crowdfunding is another word, at least in the musical world, for pre-order. The difference is that you KNOW that you're actually helping the band to release a record.

Only in the last 2 years we had Renaissance, 17 Pygmies, Half Past Four, Spock's Beard, Tom Brislin, Jordan Rudess and Mr. So & So with successful (or almost) crowdfunding campaigns. It makes you think that you're responsible for your favorite band releasing a new album, and in some sense, it's true!

The new Mr. So & So album, Truths, Lies And Half Lies (2013) was crowdfunding through the Pledge Music website and with a great success. The band achieved 16% more pledgers that they needed to.

Mr. So & So is an English band that was actually formed in 1989 by Dave Foster (guitars) and Shaun McGowan (vocals and bass). Throughout the 90's the band released 3 albums. In 2000 they broke up and the band had no foreseen future. But during the year 2005 the spark for a Mr. So & So reunion was lit and the band got together again resulting in an album Sugarstealer (2009).

The most recent album, Truths, Lies And Half Lies (2013) was released in May 15 and it's quite a good puzzle. Mr. So & So does not play straight Prog Rock. The band is a mix of modern Prog in an interesting way.

The album starts with 'Paperchase' a heavy and harsh guitar riff, but not without offering some keyboards by Andy Rigler. A perfect union between heavy Rock and Prog. The second track, 'Apophis', brings the mix I was talking about, modern influences but not without letting go the human element of the music.

The third track 'Truths, Lies & Half-Lies' is one of my favorites. Mr. So & So has one thing that I always loved in bands, two vocalists. And they use it very efficiently on Truths, Lies And Half Lies (2013). Charlotte Evans (vocals) and Shaun McGowan (codenamed as Magoo in the album) vocals are really perfectly united.

Then the album follows a slower pace, beginning with 'House Of Dreams' that is a slow track and didn't bring anything new. 'Looking Glass' has Charlotte in the main vocals for the first time in a piano kind of ballad. A pretty and strong one. 'Jingo' is another slower one, but a bit more hypnotic. They were able to take a song that seemed to be too 'normal' and gave it a special flavor.

By the time of 'You're Coming Home' I started wondering why so many ballads. The band has a pretty unique sound using heavy elements and some upbeat songs, but somehow ended up buried in ballads during half of Truths, Lies And Half Lies (2013). 'Breathe' is no different and then the album starts to go down. Don't get me wrong, all ballads are good tracks, but is a weird way of doing a tracklist for an album. To have some heavier and faster songs in the beginning and then slower ballads almost till the end.

Only on the 9th song 'Time For Change' the band comes back to their initial and, at least for me, more interesting sound. A great track. 'Compliance' is a strange mix of modern beats and keyboard collages but also full of vocals.

Truths, Lies And Half Lies (2013) comes in a pretty and simple digipack with an astonishing drawing by Iyan De Jesus and a simple (but with everything that you need) booklet. 'Please' closes the album as the longest track with over 10 minutes. A bit too much for a ballad. Also, it's the song that tries to mix the two band's elements, the ballads and the heavier/modern sound, but not completely successful. The acoustic ending is the most interesting part.

In general, Mr. So & So's Truths, Lies And Half Lies (2013) is a great album, but it makes me puzzled as I listen to it. It seems I'm listening to two different bands, the one in the 3 initial and 3 final tracks and the one in the other 5 songs. All in all, it is a very good album that has many details to be busy with while you put your headphones on and forget about the world for a while. And isn't that what music is for many of us?

(Originally posted on

Review by kev rowland
5 stars I was recently asked for a photo of myself in the early 'Feedback' days by Mick Magic of Music & Elsewhere, and the one that seemed most relevant was one where Artur Chaclowski of MLWZ was visiting me at my home in England approximately 20 years ago. The reason for putting that at the beginning of a review? I was wearing a bright red So & So shirt. I first became aware of the band when Steve Paine of Legend sent me their demo tape, as he was going to be recording their debut album at Pagan and releasing it on the label and he wanted to know my opinion. I was blown away, not only by the musicianship of the band (they met at music college) but the incredible driven arrangements, and it was only then that I found out that they were still very young.

Over the years I reviewed everything they released, and Dave Foster (guitar) and I kept in close contact. I managed to see them in concert a couple of times, and they changed from a four piece to a five as Charlotte joined as a second singer. For one reason or another they broke up, but Dave and Charlotte formed Sleeping Giant, before the decision was made that the time was right for Mr. So & So to start up again. Only Magoo (bass, vocals), The Dave and Charlotte were back for the ride but the resulting 'Sugarstealer' four years ago was a real ear opener. And so, here we are in 2013 with an album that certainly looks promising from the outside with stunning artwork that is so good that the band didn't put their name or a title on the front. But what about the music?

The introduction to "Paperchase" is metal, which turns into prog metal, before settling down into a duet that is quite different to what has gone before. The band keeps crunching back, then letting the singers in, with a beck and call that is both effective and compelling. It is obvious from the off that this is going to be a very different So & So album as they have brought in some more overtly commercial elements, yet are tempering that with chunks of Tool and even some Zappa. Musically there has been a shift in the bass playing as well, with Shaun no longer driving as much as he used to, which used to be a key part of their overall sound, but Charlotte is now firmly embedded in the overall sound and it is hard to imagine her not being there.

Musically there is so much going on that it is difficult to know where to start, with Dave being strident and powerful when required, or delicate and almost invisible at others, while Stu has brought an almost jazz-like feel to the drumming with some wonderful counterpoints and great use of cymbals. Vocals are incredibly important with some lush harmonies and even a little a capella and Shaun is definitely singing the best I have ever heard, while there are more ballads in the mix. I have to be honest and say that there are large parts of "You're Coming Home" that make me think of The Beautiful South, but way more lush, and should be released as a single.

But for all the complex arrangements and dynamic overtones that are being portrayed throughout the album as a whole, it is the fifth "Looking Glass" that brings it all home for me, with Andy providing some delicate piano that allows Charlotte to really shine, with just slight harmonies from Shaun here and there. It is very reminiscent of Anna Ryder, emotional, fraught, genuine and honest. The album is a real mix of styles, and it does take a while for the listener to 'get' the album as a whole instead of just a collection of numbers, but to me that is a strength as it really does reward repeated plays and the more I have listened to it the more I have got from it.

I am always nervous about receiving an album from certain bands, as I have known them personally for so long that I know that my attempted objective view will be tempered by history, so what happens if they release a duff one? Happily I have not been put into that situation here, and these guys just keep maturing and changing without totally losing their roots. Just listen to the guitar break in "Jingo" and you'll see what I mean as Dave cranks it up and totally changes the direction and impact of the song. You won't be disappointed

Latest members reviews

4 stars It is strange... I hated Mr So So last album..and now i love this one... For me an important improve... Mr So and So is definitely prog rock....similar to It Bites works ,specially their last album. But this is not neo eclectic .Many styles of prog rock mixed: Heavy prog,n ... (read more)

Report this review (#990531) | Posted by robbob | Monday, July 1, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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