Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Mogwai - Happy Songs For Happy People CD (album) cover




Post Rock/Math rock

3.91 | 189 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars After I first listened to this album, the first thing I said to myself was: "MOGWAI surely has a different idea about the meaning of the word 'happy'". Very rarely had I found a collection of songs that deserved to be called "happy" less than the ones in this album.

The music, though, has been definitely, gradually growing on me. The first time I heard this record, it disappointed me, especially after comparing it with my previous MOGWAI experience, the very good "Mr. Beast". Here, the mood of all the tracks is about the same, as is the speed at which they are played. So, basically, one of my traditional complaints about post-rock was there to haunt me again. At least the songs were all short, something that made me tolerate the repetitive music much more easily.

But after several listens, "Happy Songs for Happy People" begun to take a different form in my mind. I started to read between the lines, to hear the fantastic textures in a much better way, to understand how the whole album is nothing but a big idea, and that it was just normal for all the tracks to belong to the same sonic world. And, eventually, I started to appreciate what the album's title meant.

This is post-rock, made for people who love post-rock. Under that light, this is a collection of happy songs, for happy people. It is in the link of the two ideas where the real coherence of this name lies: if this was just named "Happy Songs", it would've been the most misleading album title in rock's history. But the relationship we have in that title is different: this is happy music, just not for everybody, but only for happy people. For people who would hear through the notes and be able to grasp the entirety of the atmosphere and the emotion, of the contained emotion that the music conveys. A person who could connect with this music and enjoy its sadness, its melancholy, its depressiveness, that someone would be made happy with such a collection of songs. Hence these are, after all, happy songs, for happy people.

I had to say what I think about the album's title as it's very revealing of what it's inside: post-rock played with absolute brilliance. It's still not entirely my thing, yes, but it's, nevertheless, a fine example of what this repetitive and depressive music can achieve if done right: it can achieve beauty, it can achieve magic, a special kind of magic, not for everyone, not for every time, but most definitely honest and unique.

Free of the problem of extremely long songs which makes this kind of music unbearable, this record, much more true to the post-rock spirit than "Mr. Beast", is a better representation of the genre, and, even though I would prefer the latter as a collection of more varied songs, I can say that "Happy Songs For Happy People" is, in the genre's true perspective, the best post-rock album I've heard.

I can't give it 5 stars. I just still feel the need for more thematic variation and a little more changing of gears. I rate it as high as I did "Mr. Beast" and GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT's "All is Violent, All is Bright". But I have no question in my mind that, from a post-rock perspective, this is a better record, as this one manages to achieve magic without ever going out of the strengths (for me, weaknesses) of the genre. Depressive, repetitive, but, amazingly, beautiful.

The T | 4/5 |


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

Share this MOGWAI review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

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

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

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