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Mogwai - Young Team CD (album) cover




Post Rock/Math rock

3.55 | 111 ratings

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The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I certainly don't agree with giving value to albums just because they're groundbreaking or revolutionary. While that of course adds to the importance of a record, innovation doesn't necessarily equal enjoyment in my view. And as my beliefs go, music is made first to entertain me, then to amaze me with its intricacies.

MOGWAI's first album, "Young Team", has received many strong ratings just for its very original sound. On the other hand, subsequent albums by the same band have received lesser ratings just because they weren't innovative-enough to match what the Scottish did here.

True, this album must have made a decent impact back when it was released, just like other post-rock debuts of the time like GY!BE. That new wave of rock music inspired a genre that has given me more than a minor headache to come to appreciate, due to its self-indulgence and its love for repetition and mindless noddling. But it has been precisely MOGWAI the band that has managed to break free of that problem and become, without a doubt, my favorite post-rock band (incredibly, this is my fifth MOGWAI review, and there's one more coming). The preference for shorter songs have really made a difference here.

This was MOGWAI's first, but not best, album. I still think "Mr. Beast" or "Happy Songs for Happy People" are slight better than "Young Team", even though both of those are still not perfect. In "Young Team" I hear a lot of potential in songs (not really songs, this are instrumental tracks after all) like "Yes! I Am a long way from home" and "Like Herod". The typical mid-tempo, crescendo-based dynamics of MOGWAI's rather sad (or I'd say sad-ish, this is not really sad) music is here. But the middle section of the record tends to become less brilliant, with some weaker moments like "With Portfolio". "R U still in 2 it" features vocals, though they're mostly spoken, and it's a welcome refreshment after the weakest passages in the album. The record, though, ends with two fantastic tracks: the very short "A cheery wave from stranded youngsters", which despite its ridiculous title is surprisingly magical and even captivating, and "Mogwai fear Satan", which at the beginning sounds like U2 and then erupts into a wild celebration of chaos and loneliness.

The rating I would give this album if possible is 3.5 stars. As I can't do it, I'll give it 4 stars, rounding-up because of the innovation factor that, while not decisive, as I said in the beginning, is still an important reason for newcomers to go and purchase this very good recording.

The T | 4/5 |


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