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Mew - 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 CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.76 | 60 ratings

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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.

Conor Fynes | 4/5 |


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