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2 stars "Half the World Is Watching Me" (HtWIWM) contains a handfuld of tunes that were rearranged and rerecorded for their breakthrough album "Frengers" - namely "Am I Wry? No", "Her voice Is Beyond Her Years", "156", "Symmetry", and "Comforting Sounds", and while the HtWIWM-versions are interesting, I do think that the "Frengers" are better. The remaining tunes "Mica", "Saliva" amd "King Christian" are straightforward pop songs - not that that's a bad thing - "Mica" is actually pretty good.

There are some proggy moments on HtWIWM. The opening track "Am I Wry? No" contains a watlz 3/4 with a string ensemble and athmospheric keyboards, and the opening to"156", which is not included in the "Frengers" -version of the song, is so truly weird that it's beyond description. "Comforting Sounds" is pretty a boleroesque, starting out very minimalistically and gradually developing into a symphonic epic.

HtWIWM is interesting in the perspective of the bands' history and development, and more of a token of interest to the fan. After all, much better versions of the majority of tunes on HtWIWM are found on "Frengers".

Report this review (#254344)
Posted Saturday, December 5, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Half the World Is Watching Me is the second full-length studio album by Danish experimental Pop/ Rock act Mew. The album was released 3 years after the release of the bandīs debut full-length studio album A Triumph for Man and sees Mew in a much more mature state.

Half the World Is Watching Me is a kind of strange album as it contains five songs that would later be re-arranged and re-recorded for Mewīs international breakthrough Frengers (2003). Namely the songs: Am I Wry? No, Her voice Is Beyond Her Years, 156, Symmetry, and Comforting Sounds. So if youīve only discovered Mew after Frengers there are only three songs on this album that you havenīt heard before. Of course the versions of the above mentioned songs are different on Half the World Is Watching Me compared to the versions on Frengers. The problem is that the versions on Frengers are much better to these ears and that makes Half the World Is Watching Me kind of dispensable IMO. The three tracks on Half the World Is Watching Me that donīt appear on Frengers ( Mica, Saliva and King Christian) are all good songs but nothing too special.

The production is professional and suits the music well.

Seen in retrospect Half the World Is Watching Me is mostly a fan release as most of the songs appear in better versions on Frengers, but seen on itīs own ( this album was released 3 years before Frengers) the album does deserve a 3 star rating. Good alternative pop/ rock with a few semi-progressive ideas.

Report this review (#258078)
Posted Sunday, December 27, 2009 | Review Permalink

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