Brother, Sister was nothing short of a masterpiece. So, when I heard whispers of a new mewithoutYou album, I was skeptical. Skeptical because how could anyone top such perfection without causing my ears to explode from awe?
Every Thought a Thought of You, the opener to the album is enough to silence these doubts as it begins upbeat and quirky. The intro goes hand in hand with Aaron’s adorable voice (I’m sorry, I couldn’t make that any less patronising) and the topic of such an encompassing love is enough to make any heart flutter with joy.
A fantastic factor of mewithoutYou is their ability to narrate, with Weiss sounding akin to a fairytale reader for young children. The Fox, The Crow, And The Cookie reflects this wonderfully, depicting a conversation between a fox and a crow about biscuits. It’s like something right out of Aesop’s. Oh wait, it is. Look it up on Wikipedia.
The Angel of Death Came to David’s Room is quiet, very quiet until it explodes out of no where as the ‘angel of death’ tries to usher poor David to death. Goodbye, I! is just as musically humble with the lyrics being the main attraction, “come tortoise, come and die / go hummingbird, my I / goodbye, I /goodbye, I bye, bye, bye”. Odd. A Stick, A Carrot, A String proves slightly more interesting, feeling rather festive in its theme of resisting temptation and becoming a better person. Nice, I feel more moral already.
Bullet To Binary (PT. Two) to the unsuspected listener appears to be a song about fruit and vegetables, ‘”reason being, i must confess /I adore her shining purple dress/ as the eggplant listened in / she wasn’t offended but she wasn’t impressed” (which has to be my favourite lyrics in a long time). However, peel away all of that and you’ve got a lesson of karma. What goes around comes around. Reap what you sow. Whatever you want to call it. Genius.
Twinkly noises and doo doo doo’s have the ability to make any song stick in your head for a long time and Timothy Hay succeeds in that. The band can only be described as blissful in this song; this is a definite one to blast through your earphones/headphones.
Fig With A Bellyache is another superb track, with the ‘da da dahhh’s being reminiscent of The Polyphonic Spree on the Thumbsucker soundtrack which is always a good thing. Eventually the song picks up into a waltz and Aaron and the band’s vocals are perfect. A definite favourite of mine.
Cattail Down is slower but not necessarily less fun, with the lyrics containing such gems as ‘found a bag… filled with what looked like marijuana. (don’t worry mom, we left it there)’ and the backing vocals from the rest of the band. I love it when the whole band joins in, it nicely creates a ‘full’ sound.
Another story is told in The King Beetle On A Coconut Estate, where the King Beetle asks his beetle-y community to explain what the fire is. A professor beetle assumes he knows, gets burnt. A lieutenant beetle assumes he is strong enough yet also finds he isn’t good enough. The King Beetle gets pretty pissy at this point, “We didn’t ask what it seems like, we asked what it is!” The story goes on and what you’re left with is a lovely story, a wonderfully building song (the wind instruments are just right) and the suggestion that faith should reign over over analysis, as analysis never gives you the entire truth. If you haven’t listened to this song, you’ll probably think I’m nuts now. If you’re still with me, high five.
The album sadly ends with Allah, Allah, Allah which sounds like a hymn you would sing at primary school. With mewithoutYou’s edge, of course. The guitars, trumpet, claps and all of the band joins in, leaving you toe tapping and tempted to sing, ‘in everywhere we look…’
This album is just as good but is no Brother, Sister mark 2. MewithoutYou takes an entirely different approach with It’s All Crazy!… which allows you to leave with a few lessons learnt whilst hearing some damn good songs. That’s that’s the magic of mewithoutYou: they can do no wrong.