CD REVIEW: MEW – Visuals

Label: Play It Again Sam Records

Release Date: April 28, 2017

Rating: 8.5/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

Mew is a band that had eluded me until their last release, +/-.  I took it for a spin and was pleasantly surprised, so when word came about a new disc from the band, I couldn’t wait to listen through this collection of tracks – and I am as happy with this collection as I was the last and have enjoyed adding the band to my repertoire.  Disc opener “Nothingness And No Regrets” is a pop-filled track that draws you in from the first synth sound and keeps you engaged until the song fades.  The vocals are beautifully layered and well-matched to the musical accompaniment that floats underneath in the mix.  “The Wake Of Your Life” picks up where the previous track left off, but with a different groove and sound, giving this disc depth just two songs in.  The percussion is fun and leads the charge, even after the vocals and other instrumentation kicks in.  “In A Better Place” brings the disc back in line with the opening track with more pop sensibility that melds perfectly with the synth sound that these guys have perfected.  The songs construction is full and really builds through the bridges into a great track.  “Learn Our Crystals” is one of the lighter tracks on the disc, allowing the vocals to truly take the lead and shine.  The songs ebb and flow is perfectly controlled by the synths and vocals demonstrating another dimension of the band.  “Shoulders” slows things a bit, but is a welcome change in the discs flow and feel.  The layered vocals at the bridges is cool and keeps the track from becoming ‘just another MEW song.’  Disc closer “Carry Me To Safety” shuts the door on another great set of songs from the band.  The song seems a bit disjointed as it ramps up, but once the chorus kicks in this song falls into line and keeps the cohesiveness of the disc intact.  And listen for the cool addition of horns during the bridge.

“Candy Pieces All Smeared Out” twists the direction and sound of the collection slightly when the song morphs into being out of another.  The darker undertones of the bass and rhythm section gives this song a sense of urgency that is supported by some of the strongest vocals on the track, which has some of the oddest lyrics.  “Ay Ay Ay” ushers in another track that fits within the parameters of the disc, with more synth and lighter vocals, but with a slightly hollow and heavy bottom end that provides a nice contrast that really stands out among the other songs.  “Twist Quest” has a sound that fluctuates and shifts from moment to moment, but it adds a fun element to the song and disc.  This song, while having lyrics that don’t grab you, has a vibe that held my attention and kept me coming back time and time again, especially at the chorus and bridge.  “85 Videos” is one of those songs that would fit well anywhere on this disc, as it incorporates all of the synth goodness from the other tracks along with ethereal vocals and a solid tempo that keeps the song moving.  “Zanzibar” is one of the slower tracks on the collection as we move towards the end of the disc.  The instrumental portion of this track takes me back to a time when I enjoyed the tones and musical landscapes of Tangerine Dream.  This is a very Zen like track that soars while keeping the feel simple.  I can only hope that when the band tours the U.S. later this summer that the setlist has man tracks from this disc…

Tracklisting: Nothingness And No Regrets – The Wake Of Your Life – Candy Pieces All Smeared Out – In A Better Place – Ay Ay Ay – Learn Our Crystals – Twist Quest – Shoulders – 85 Videos – Zanzibar – Carry Me To Safety

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CD REVIEW: MEW - Visuals

Filed Under: CD Reviews

About the Author: ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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