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Mew And The Glass Handed Kites album cover
4.08 | 122 ratings | 14 reviews | 39% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Circuitry of the Wolf (2:44)
2. Chinaberry Tree (3:33)
3. Why Are You Looking Grave (3:50)
4. Fox Cub (1:50)
5. Apocalypso (4:46)
6. Special (3:13)
7. The Zookeeper's Boy (4:43)
8. A Dark Design (3:29)
9. Saviours of Jazz Ballet (Fear Me, December) (3:18)
10. An Envoy to the Open Fields (3:40)
11. Small Ambulance (1:05)
12. The Seething Rain Weeps for You (Uda Pruda) (4:18)
13. White Lips Kissed (6:44)
14. Louise Louisa (7:17)

Total Time 54:30

Line-up / Musicians

- Jonas Bjerre / guitar, synths, piano, harmonium, vocals
- Bo Madsen / guitar
- Johan Wohlert / bass, guitar
- Silas Graae / drums, percussion

- Rebecca Stark / soprano vocals (2,8)
- J Mascis / vocals (3,10)
- boy choir / chorus vocals (13)
- Damon Tutunjian / guitar (5)
- Bo Rande / flugelhorn (2,3), trumpet (13,14)
- Lasse Mauritzen / French horn (2,3,14)

Releases information

Artwork: M/M (Paris) with Gaël Amzalag (photo)

CD Evil Office ‎- EVLCD 3 (2005, Denmark)

LP Evil Office ‎- MOVLP1607 (2016, Europe)

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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MEW And The Glass Handed Kites ratings distribution

(122 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(39%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(28%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

MEW And The Glass Handed Kites reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by horsewithteeth11
5 stars I must admit that I was surprised to see that Mew was added to Prog Archives a few days ago. I checked and there was apparently a thread on the band, in which some of the Crossover team approved them after hearing their new album. Or at least that's what I gathered from reading it. I was slightly surprised due to the fact that I don't think Mew is really overtly prog in any way (I tend to think of them as shoegaze, experimental rock, or indie rock), but Crossover seems the best place for them on PA.

I actually heard of Mew a few months ago, when a friend of mine showed me a few of the songs from "And the Glass Handed Kites" on YouTube, saying I might like the band. I did enjoy the songs quite a bit, so I quickly snatched up this album. And even though it's taken some time to sink in, I'm certainly glad I did. The music has some very obvious shoegaze and alternative rock influences with a bit of post-rock even, and the tracks are a mix of pop and some fairly experimental material. One thing that would definitely draw progressive rock fans to this album though is the fact that it is more or less a song cycle. While the album is indeed divided up into 14 tracks, there is no break in between each of the tracks, so each one flows right into the next one, creating what is more or less one long 54 minute song. Mew tends to lie on the end of shoegaze that is the more melodic and tends to have lots of lush sounds to it. There are some effects and guitar feedback from time to time, but that is not what this band is about. The main reason I like this album so much is the atmospheres. They are some of the most beautiful atmospheres I have heard in modern rock music. I don't think I can really exaggerate my feelings towards them, but they must certainly be heard to be believed. And Jonas Bjerre's high-pitched vocals really help add to that atmosphere.

I will try to avoid making the comparisons I'm sure many people on this site will make about Mew. Yes, I know many will say they hear some Muse and Porcupine Tree in Mew's sound, but I will leave it to others to make those comparisons. I can say that I would recommend "And the Glass Handed Kites", as well as any other Mew album, to fans of both those bands, I could also make similar recommendations to fans of bands such as Oceansize and Radiohead too though. While I'm sure some would debate whether or not Mew is progressive rock, they probably are more so in the spirit rather than the sound, as are most modern prog bands. I've wavered for several months between 4 and 5 stars on this album, but I really think giving it a 4 would be too low. So 5 stars it is, and this may go down as one of my favorite albums of the 2000s.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars 3.5 stars. I purchased this one and "Frengers" at the same time a few years ago, and right from the start I much prefered "Frengers". "And The Glass Handed Kites" much like the cover art has not caught on with me. Taste is a funny thing I suppose. We get 14 songs over 54 1/2 minutes but many of these tracks blend into one another.

"Circuitry Of The Wolf" opens with guitar and pounding drums before the keys come in. It gets heavier then some vocal melodies arrive. It blends into "Chinaberry Tree" where we get vocals right away. It turns spacey before 2 1/2 minutes to the end. "Why Are You Looking Grave" has some good bass early and I like the vocals too. Keys 3 1/2 minutes in as drums build to end it. "Fox Cub" features reserved vocals and a laid back sound. "Apocalypso" kicks in right away. I can't get into this one though. It blends into "Special" which is one of my favourites. A good beat as vocals come in. "The Zookeeper's Boy" has a nice instrumental intro before the vocals arrive.

"A Dark Design" opens with synths as vocals join in. It kicks in before a minute and blends into "Saviours Of Jazz Ballet (Fear Me, December)" . It settles before a minute then again 2 minutes in with vocal melodies. Atmosphere late. "An Envoy To The Open Fields" has a loud intro before settling then the drums kick in again. "Small Ambulance" features jangly guitars and vocal melodies. "The Seething Rain Weeps For You (Uda Pruda)" sounds great until the vocals come in. Atmosphere ends it. "White Lips Kissed" is another favourite. Keys to start as reserved vocals join in. A fuller sound 1 1/2 minutes in. It settles 3 minutes in then gets full again. "Louise Louisa" opens with marching styled drums. The song kicks in then settles as these contrasts continue throughout.

Most seem to rate this one and "Frengers" fairly evenly but for me "Frengers" has that magic ability to move and uplift me while "And The Glass handed Kites" does neither for me.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars And the Glass Handed Kites is the 4th full-length studio album by Danish experimental Pop/ rock act Mew. Mew broke into the commercial mainstream with their previous album Frengers (2003) but proved that commercial success doesnīt always equal shallow music.

And the Glass Handed Kites continue the dreamy/ atmospheric pop/ rock style of its predecessor but develops further on the progressive side of Mewīs music. The songs on the album seques into each other to form a musical concept. The lyrics are rather cryptic and not easy to penetrate, so Iīm not sure thereīs a concept there, but there might be. The band play with unusual time signatures and experiment with song structures but doesnīt lose one bit of their accessibility on the way. The music on And the Glass Handed Kites is still alternative pop/ rock at its core. Jonas Bjerreīs high pitched vocal style is defining for Mewīs sound, but the clever song arrangements, skilled playing and adventurous ideas in the music is also a trademark by now. The use of synths on the album is much more dominant than on earlier releases by the band which I find a real treat.

With 14 tracks on the album there are a couple of songs that doesnīt stand out as much as the rest and if the band had chosen to cut a few tracks Iīm sure the album could have been even stronger. I mention this because after listening to the first 7 tracks on the album every nerve in my is screaming masterpiece, but after that itīs like the album dies down a bit until the beautiful White Lips Kissed comes in to save the day ( on the Japanese version of the album thereīs an additional version of White Lips Kissed with Japanese lyrics. It sounds great). Itīs a gorgeous track and it should have been the perfect ending to a great album, but then the band chose to put in Louise Louisa as the closing track. Itīs a track which is much in the same vein as White Lips Kissed so itīs a bit of an anticlimax to end the album with two very similar sounding tracks IMO. As mentioned the 7 first tracks on the album and the way they compliment each other simply makes me loose my breath every time I listen to them. The intricate instrumental opening track Circuitry of the Wolf, the beautiful Chinaberry Tree, the dark Why Are You Looking Grave and the two hits Special and The Zookeeper's Boy are simply outstanding tracks.

The production is outstanding on this album. Clean and sharp. I canīt give enough praises to this sound.

And the Glass Handed Kites could have been a masterpiece and a sure 5 star album IMO, but when parts of the album arenīt as exciting as the best tracks on the album I canīt give more than a 4 ( which by the way is a very high rating). And the Glass Handed Kites is still an excellent album and even the songs, that doesnīt quite reach masterpiece status, certainly earn themselves the tag high quality compositions. This is the place to start if you want to check out Mew.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Yes folks, this is the ultimate Mew experience if I've ever heard one!

I've been wanting to hear this album ever since the first time i saw its weird looking album cover. Still, it wasn't until 2010 that I finally came around to experiencing the masterpiece that so many fans have been raving about for almost five years. The band made quite an impression on me the first time I heard And The Glass Handed Kites and I was actually expecting my hype to settle down over time. Instead, this positive feeling continued to grow with each repeated listen, even though some tracks benefited more from the process than others.

So what is it exactly that makes this album a great experience? The tight musicianship, great material, the overall flow of the music and everything else that can be gasped over the mere 55 minutes of pure joy that sums up And The Glass Handed Kites. I, for one, consider it to be a major improvement over the few glimpses of genius that were offered on Frengers. Not only did Mew get rid of that pretentious indie rock-sound and turned it into art rock, but they also made their music a whole lot more consistent and the idea of connecting all the songs into one single composition did work in their favor.

A fond memory that I had while experiencing this album for the first time had to do with the fact that I copied the track-listing incorrectly into my Spotify playlist and so the the album began with the closing number, Louise Louisa, and then played through the rest of the tracks in their right order. This perspective of the album did impress me even more than its proposed order since I actually consider Circuitry Of The Wolf to be a weak opener compared to the parade of wonderful compositions that follow it. This might also be the reason why I still find Louise Louisa to be my favorite track off this album. The dark atmosphere that surrounds the tune towards its second half is almost as ravishing as the entire soundtrack to Twin Peaks!

There is really no denying that I have a have a soft spot for this album and the fact that it has remained a consistent member of my playlist for almost a year is enough to give it the high praise that it truly deserves.

***** star songs: Chinaberry Tree (3:33) Why Are You Looking Grave (3:51) Apocalypso (4:47) Special (3:13) The Zookeeper's Boy (4:43) An Envoy To The Open Fields (3:40) White Lips Kissed (6:45) Louise Louisa (7:18)

**** star songs: Fox Cub (1:56) A Dark Design (3:29) Saviours Of Jazz Ballet (Fear Me, December) (3:18)

*** star songs: Circuitry Of The Wolf (2:45) Small Ambulance (1:05) The Seething Rain Weeps For You (Uda Pruda) (4:19)

Review by BrufordFreak
3 stars Another pleasant, upbeat, more-complex-than-your-average-run-of-the-mill-indie-rock-band album from Mew, if I do not rate this one as highly as Frengers this is mostly due to the latter being the first Mew album I heard and thus the Mew sound was fresh then. And the Glass-Handed Kites is not quite so fresh though there are plenty of odd, idiosynchratic, "proggy" nuances to the music and vocals. I concur with the comparisons to THE CURE and MY BLOODY VALENTINE and RADIOHEAD though Mew's synthesis is different, lighter, more danceable. Still not sure this is really a "prog" group.

Album highlights: "Apocalypso" (4:46) (8/10); "A Dark Design" (3:29) (8/10); "Saviours of Jazz Ballet (Fear Me, December)" (3:19) (8/10), and; "The Seething Rain Weeps for You (Uda Pruda)" (4:19) (8/10).

Latest members reviews

3 stars Progressive pop? More pop than progressive. The music has a particular style and defined. With some good vocal harmonies and intelligent developments in general. What I'm not convinced is the instrumentation. In many cases there is an explosive sound ball, uncontrolled, without much sense to me ... (read more)

Report this review (#978542) | Posted by sinslice | Saturday, June 15, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 11th March: Mew - And the Glass Handed Kites (progressive dream pop, 2005) "I could write an essay on this album", I said, while listening to this one. And I probably will, but I don't have the time to really dig into that now. This isn't my favourite Mew album, nor do I think it's anywhere ne ... (read more)

Report this review (#772744) | Posted by Gallifrey | Sunday, June 17, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Balance... "And the Glass Handed Kites" (AtGHK) is characterized by a strange balance between opposing elements such as complexity-simplicity, beauty-uglyness, epicness-minimalism, and catchiness-quirkiness. They manage to combine complex time signatures with catchy sing-along-friendly melodies ... (read more)

Report this review (#254348) | Posted by Time Signature | Saturday, December 5, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Perfection by perfectionists And the Glass Handed Kites is the finest album to ever come out of a Danish rock act. The high ambitions of MEW's complex music succeeds with this release and it shows just how skillful the (at the time) four band members are, both as musicians and composers. The ... (read more)

Report this review (#253788) | Posted by Yoke | Tuesday, December 1, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars What a wonderful discovery this has been. I found out about Mew a few weeks ago by complete chance and have been addicted since. I'm sure there are a lot of people here that would try and argue that this band is not progressive and as such is not fit to swim among the prog-rock all stars on this sit ... (read more)

Report this review (#253019) | Posted by AgentSpork | Thursday, November 26, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Let me say- Wow the music and what the heck with the cover! However the ugly as it may appear, the music is contrastly beautiful and poetic . This is one of a great find this year for me. If you love another alternative prog like The Dear Hunter or The Mars Volta, you will sure love this album. A ... (read more)

Report this review (#251969) | Posted by Jadittir | Friday, November 20, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars So, the thing about Mew: They do excellent, driving, prog-pop. Something (with the exception of some Gentle Giant) I didn't quite believe to be possible. But here it is. Oh yeah, most of their album covers are freaking awful. Particularly "And the Glass Handed Kites". With "Kites" all the so ... (read more)

Report this review (#251716) | Posted by phantom banana | Thursday, November 19, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Pure beauty...woops that fell out of my mouth. But I don't care. Mew hasn't been accepted by Prog Archives for a while now (i checked last week to review 2 of their albums , but I couldn't find them, until now, typical proggers) So I have to review this from memory. This should be quite easy be ... (read more)

Report this review (#250978) | Posted by arcane-beautiful | Monday, November 16, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars mew is obviously a very artistic band, very profound i would say, and this album( some would so boldly call a masterpiece) i would have to say is certainly going in the direction, it is very nourishing in terms of complexity and being catchy, very mature writing. the fact that it is all strung ... (read more)

Report this review (#250906) | Posted by native bandit | Monday, November 16, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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