Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

MEW

Crossover Prog • Denmark


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Mew picture
Mew biography
Formed in 1995 in Hellerup, Denmark

Danish outfit MEW was founded by Jonas Bjerre (vocals, guitar), Bo Madsen (guitar), Johan Wohlert (bass) and Silas Graae (drums).
In 1997 they released their first studio production, A Triumph For Man. Arguably not an album with the impact the name suggests, it was at least a start for the band, and the first example of their musical blend of alternative rock and dream pop - later to become much more sophisticated earning them a tag as a progressive outfit as well.

In 2000 their second effort Half The World Is Watching Me saw the light of day. A pretentious title, but the band were quite an active live unit at the time. And while they weren't exactly watched by half the world they were watched by representatives of Sony Entertainment, who decided to sign the outfit.

Their third production, and first international release, was the 2003 venture Frengers. The album consisted of re-recorded tracks from their previous two efforts mixed with some new compositions, and was given a generally positive reception.

Come 2005 and their fourth album And the Glass Handed Kites saw the light of day. Featuring possibly one of the worst cover arts ever made for an album, the musical contents thankfully were of a much higher quality. The album became a top 10 seller throughout Scandinavia, and also entered the top 100 charts in several additional countries. More importantly several hit singles were issued from the album, and Mew had sown the seeds of what might become a sound international career at this point.

In 2006 Wohlert decided to leave the band, as he wanted to be able to spend more time with his wife and coming child. To date a permanent replacement has yet to be found.

The remaining trio hit the studio in 2008, and in 2009 the album 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 - alternatively No More Stories... - was issued. It has generally been hailed as the best and most sophisticated production so far from this Danish band, with both mainstream and progressively inclined audiences regarding it as among the finest efforts of 2009.

MEW forum topics / tours, shows & news


MEW forum topics Create a topic now
MEW tours, shows & news Post an entries now

MEW Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Show all MEW videos (6) | Search and add more videos to MEW

Buy MEW Music



More places to buy MEW music online

MEW discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

MEW top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.04 | 17 ratings
A Triumph For Man
1997
2.80 | 17 ratings
Half The World Is Watching Me
2000
3.95 | 62 ratings
Frengers
2003
4.07 | 122 ratings
And The Glass Handed Kites
2005
3.76 | 63 ratings
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
2009
3.76 | 29 ratings
+ - [Aka: Plus Minus]
2015
3.23 | 13 ratings
Visuals
2017

MEW Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MEW Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.57 | 7 ratings
Live in Copenhagen
2006

MEW Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 5 ratings
Eggs Are Funny
2010

MEW Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
She Came Home for Christmas/ That Time on the Ledge
2003
4.50 | 2 ratings
The Zookeepers Boy
2006
3.80 | 5 ratings
No More Stories EP
2009
0.00 | 0 ratings
+- (Quiet Sessions)
2015

MEW Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 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 by MEW album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.76 | 63 ratings

BUY
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

Review by 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.

 And The Glass Handed Kites by MEW album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.07 | 122 ratings

BUY
And The Glass Handed Kites
Mew Crossover Prog

Review by sinslice

3 stars Progressive pop? More pop than progressive.

The music has a particular style and defined. With some good vocal harmonies and intelligent developments in general. What I'm not convinced is the instrumentation. In many cases there is an explosive sound ball, uncontrolled, without much sense to me. In other good mixing is achieved, as in Special or Why Are You Looking Grave?, But focused more to Indie.

The last two tracks are gentler: White Lips Kissed begins with a soft piano, sung with feeling and energy that is gaining in its development, but without being chaotic. Louise Louisa walking trails similar, though a bit monotonous. It has good ideas and is dose variation. Good finish.

The artwork is absolutely tasteless.

I can not assign more than 3 in rating.

 And The Glass Handed Kites by MEW album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.07 | 122 ratings

BUY
And The Glass Handed Kites
Mew Crossover Prog

Review by Gallifrey

5 stars 11th March: Mew - And the Glass Handed Kites (progressive dream pop, 2005)

"I could write an essay on this album", I said, while listening to this one.

And I probably will, but I don't have the time to really dig into that now. This isn't my favourite Mew album, nor do I think it's anywhere near a masterpiece, but it might be one of the most important modern albums that no one really talks about. The turn from indie pop darlings into math-prog weirdos, somehow without losing the core of their sound, is worth an essay on its own, but really the big discussion point here is how Mew pioneered an entire way of playing guitar that would go on to define a decade in an entirely unrelated genre, progressive metal.

I'm not even sure many of the modern prog metal bands know how much they owe to Mew, since it's almost all second-hand influence from the genre's big names - Leprous, Haken, Vola and Astronoid are all amongst the biggest names in the genre, and all of them take huge cues from the guitar playing on this album. Staccato, melodic, sharp, with chords used in the way bands used to use open string chugs. Shifting time signatures around accessible pop melodies, the focus on rhythmic memorability as well as melodic, and don't forget the reverb.

Someday I'll get around to compiling my full thoughts, but in conclusion - this isn't as good as Frengers, but it most certainly is more important

8.2 (13th listen)

 And The Glass Handed Kites by MEW album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.07 | 122 ratings

BUY
And The Glass Handed Kites
Mew Crossover Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Another pleasant, upbeat, more-complex-than-your-average-run-of-the-mill-indie-rock-band album from Mew, if I do not rate this one as highly as Frengers this is mostly due to the latter being the first Mew album I heard and thus the Mew sound was fresh then. And the Glass-Handed Kites is not quite so fresh though there are plenty of odd, idiosynchratic, "proggy" nuances to the music and vocals. I concur with the comparisons to THE CURE and MY BLOODY VALENTINE and RADIOHEAD though Mew's synthesis is different, lighter, more danceable. Still not sure this is really a "prog" group.

Album highlights: "Apocalypso" (4:46) (8/10); "A Dark Design" (3:29) (8/10); "Saviours of Jazz Ballet (Fear Me, December)" (3:19) (8/10), and; "The Seething Rain Weeps for You (Uda Pruda)" (4:19) (8/10).

 Eggs Are Funny by MEW album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2010
5.00 | 5 ratings

BUY
Eggs Are Funny
Mew Crossover Prog

Review by catfood03

5 stars Something old, something Mew!

This collection was my first introduction to Mew and admittedly, if I had written this review upon my first spin of the album, I wouldn't have rated it too high. It's not a band that I immediately took to right away. Don't get me wrong, the music is fantastic, perhaps a bit less "Prog" that what I was expecting (this is how it was described to me before I heard the music for myself). The vocals bothered me a bit, always in a high register without variation. That was my first impression anyway...

Yet I kept coming back to this CD, and within a couple more spins and I was hooked. If Mew is not "Prog" in the most traditional sense of the word then it knowingly touches on the spirit of experimentalism and journey that makes the music on this collection a spiritual cousin. "The Zookeeper's Boy" must be one of the most joyous choruses I've heard this year so far! I've come to really enjoy the musicianship on this collection and I have been appreciating the nuances in the vocals I did not hear before the more I listen, so I am now a fan.

This collection draws from most if not all their releases since their debut, with Frengers and No More Stories taking a lion's share of space and & The Glass Handed Kites being oddly under-represented. I like how, that although this is a compilation, it musically flows together so well like a concept album might. There is also one new track, "Do You Love It?". Not a bad track to be found.

Now I am looking to expand my Mew collection (if I can just look past those hideous album covers of theirs). :)

Final Rating: 5 of 5 stars Favorites: "Snow Brigade", "Introducing Palace Players", "Sometimes Life Isn't Easy", "Zookeeper's Boy", "Special"

---------------------------

The packaging for the standard version comes in a traditional jewel case. The booklet contains no lyrics for the songs or liner about the band, just information as to what song came from where. There are also odd drawings inside, but no band photos than what is shown on the cover.

 And The Glass Handed Kites by MEW album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.07 | 122 ratings

BUY
And The Glass Handed Kites
Mew Crossover Prog

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

5 stars Yes folks, this is the ultimate Mew experience if I've ever heard one!

I've been wanting to hear this album ever since the first time i saw its weird looking album cover. Still, it wasn't until 2010 that I finally came around to experiencing the masterpiece that so many fans have been raving about for almost five years. The band made quite an impression on me the first time I heard And The Glass Handed Kites and I was actually expecting my hype to settle down over time. Instead, this positive feeling continued to grow with each repeated listen, even though some tracks benefited more from the process than others.

So what is it exactly that makes this album a great experience? The tight musicianship, great material, the overall flow of the music and everything else that can be gasped over the mere 55 minutes of pure joy that sums up And The Glass Handed Kites. I, for one, consider it to be a major improvement over the few glimpses of genius that were offered on Frengers. Not only did Mew get rid of that pretentious indie rock-sound and turned it into art rock, but they also made their music a whole lot more consistent and the idea of connecting all the songs into one single composition did work in their favor.

A fond memory that I had while experiencing this album for the first time had to do with the fact that I copied the track-listing incorrectly into my Spotify playlist and so the the album began with the closing number, Louise Louisa, and then played through the rest of the tracks in their right order. This perspective of the album did impress me even more than its proposed order since I actually consider Circuitry Of The Wolf to be a weak opener compared to the parade of wonderful compositions that follow it. This might also be the reason why I still find Louise Louisa to be my favorite track off this album. The dark atmosphere that surrounds the tune towards its second half is almost as ravishing as the entire soundtrack to Twin Peaks!

There is really no denying that I have a have a soft spot for this album and the fact that it has remained a consistent member of my playlist for almost a year is enough to give it the high praise that it truly deserves.

***** star songs: Chinaberry Tree (3:33) Why Are You Looking Grave (3:51) Apocalypso (4:47) Special (3:13) The Zookeeper's Boy (4:43) An Envoy To The Open Fields (3:40) White Lips Kissed (6:45) Louise Louisa (7:18)

**** star songs: Fox Cub (1:56) A Dark Design (3:29) Saviours Of Jazz Ballet (Fear Me, December) (3:18)

*** star songs: Circuitry Of The Wolf (2:45) Small Ambulance (1:05) The Seething Rain Weeps For You (Uda Pruda) (4:19)

 Frengers by MEW album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.95 | 62 ratings

BUY
Frengers
Mew Crossover Prog

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars After falling in love with And The Glass Handed Kites it felt natural to explore more of Mew's discography and Frengers definitely felt like the next move for me considering that it was the band's breakthrough release. In a way, this album can be considered a best-of compilation of their early days since a great deal of the material featured here consists of re-recordings of songs from Mew's first two albums. There's really nothing unusual about this occurrence and many artists try to incorporate more of their early material into the repertoire once they get the attention from a wider audience. The biggest difference is that Mew didn't have a large fan base to distribute their material to, so a move of this sort was quite a bold one and, looking back at it, a successful such!

After only listening to this album for a week or so, I pretty much left it off my playlist and didn't return to it until almost a month later. By that time I've completely forgotten what this release was all about and gave it a new fair chance to impress me. This didn't work in the favor of Frengers, which is sad considering that there are quite a few nice moments scattered all throughout the album. The music is performed by a competent band that has already established their own distinguishable sound and they do have a back catalog of tunes that would satisfy most newcomers. The downside is that the material is all over the place and lacks the consistency that I expect of a single studio release. On top of that, there is also an indie rock-vibe that I truly can't stand that makes its presence known on a couple of occasions. The final nail in the coffin comes from the fact that this is not a progressive rock album and not even the 9 minute long closing track, Comforting Sounds, can change my mind about that.

All in all, Frengers is a good introduction to Mew and their early back catalog but I cannot recommend it to a fan of progressive rock since the music featured here is closer to the indie rock sound of its time than the genre that we're all accustomed to.

***** star songs: Snow Brigade (4:19)

**** star songs: Am I Wry? No (4:55) 156 (4:54) Behind The Drapes (3:38) She Came Home For Christmas (3:54) She Spider (4:37) Comforting Sounds (8:53)

*** star songs: Symmetry (5:38) Her Voice Is Beyond Her Years (2:46) Eight Flew Over, One Was Destroyed (4:46)

 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 by MEW album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.76 | 63 ratings

BUY
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

Review by Revan

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".
 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 by MEW album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.76 | 63 ratings

BUY
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

Review by 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.

 And The Glass Handed Kites by MEW album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.07 | 122 ratings

BUY
And The Glass Handed Kites
Mew Crossover Prog

Review by 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 doesnīt 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 Mewīs 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 Iīm not sure thereīs a concept there, but there might be. The band play with unusual time signatures and experiment with song structures but doesnīt 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 Bjerreīs high pitched vocal style is defining for Mewīs 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 doesnīt stand out as much as the rest and if the band had chosen to cut a few tracks Iīm 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 itīs 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 thereīs an additional version of White Lips Kissed with Japanese lyrics. It sounds great). Itīs 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. Itīs a track which is much in the same vein as White Lips Kissed so itīs 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 canīt 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 arenīt as exciting as the best tracks on the album I canīt 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 doesnīt 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.

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.