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Mogwai - Happy Songs For Happy People CD (album) cover




Post Rock/Math rock

3.91 | 189 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars After a string of promising, but choppy and unfulfilling albums, Mogwai had finally made the masterpiece they were threatening to make. Happy Songs for Happy People is comprised of mostly average-length songs continuing in the vein of its predecessor Rock Action. Electronic elements are more often utilized this time around, including in the vocals; while Rock Action featured a couple of tracks with clean, unaltered singing, the couple of songs with vocals on this one are treated with effects to the point of the listener not being able to understand what the lyrics are. Despite how that sounded, this actually works very well. The melodies are strong and the effects merely provide an alternate way to use the voice as an instrument in the lush soundscapes the band have perfectly crafted.

Allow me to emphasize the perfection of the "soundscapes" I mentioned last sentence. These songs would be perfect for a film. The atmospheres and moods the group creates on this record are ineffable. It's like something uplifting on a gloomy day. Imagine a gorgeous landscape, bursting with life beneath an overcast sky as the sun begins to shine through. Of course, that description can't fit all the songs, but in general, that is the kind of feeling this album gives off. Such juxtaposition may not be new when you describe it in words, but Mogwai makes it new with the way they do it. The production is ever so lush and it really unlocks the true beauty of the compositions.

The band still runs the gamut from soft, pretty pieces like "Golden Porsche" to heavy, approaching metal riffs like in the 8-minute mini epic "Ratts of the Capital." While both of those tracks are wonderful, the band is the most striking somewhere in between. "Hunted by a Freak" is arguably the band's greatest moment ever, and "Killing All the Flies" comes close.

Happy Songs for Happy People is definitely a highpoint in the history of post-rock. Stunning.

Moatilliatta | 5/5 |


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