So, MuteMath came out with a new album, and I was completely oblivious to it. Which, actually has me enjoying this album even more, because I had no lead up to it all. I sampled a few tracks on iTunes when I came across it, watched the video for Blood Pressure, and knew I needed to have it. My wife won’t be to pleased that I’ve bought another record when she checks the account, but this album rips and it’s exactly what I needed to hear.
First, back to my previous point about having no lead up to this album prior to its release. I love that I had no idea it was out and that I hadn’t heard a single track or read any pre-release reviews. This brings me back to the old days (yes, I’m only 26) when I would buy a new album with no preconceived notion of what it was going to sound like. Now, we get free album streams days before the release and even before THAT, we get 3 or 4 songs to hear well in advance of the release. As a result, the music doesn’t feel as fresh when we get our hands on it because we have already had our first experience with it, thus after a few rotations (or whatever an mp3 does) we quickly move on to the next band/album/song. But, not this time, not with this album. It is ALL new to me, and I get to truly experience it.
Their most recent release, 2009’s Armistice, was no doubt a great release in my mind. However, it was a little slow and wide open, but they do it well and are known for that atmospheric presence. It’s how I got into them, after all. But, I’ve always thought that if they could get a little bit more of an edge they would skyrocket right to the top of my favorite bands list. With Odd Soul, they have done just that.
Odd Soul is a very appropriate title for this 13 track collection. It has a bluesy/soul vibe that, being from New Orleans, comes naturally. But, it is done in an “odd” way, meaning it isn’t your traditional soul record, but an album that finds the band defining the genre with their own vocabulary. Each track has a bounce that will get your head bobbing, while still possessing that MuteMath sound. Paul Meany’s vocals are so damn catchy and flawless, navigating through beautiful harmonies along the way. The drums pulse with chaotic consistency, per usual with Darren King, and the guitars crunch like no MuteMath album I have heard. Rolling synths, organs, and many atmospheric elements abound to make this release a must have for not only long time fans of the band, but newcomers who are interested in a fresh, yet familiar and fun record.
I might post a little more of a track by track breakdown as I get a few more listens in, but for now, just check it out for yourself. I think you’ll dig it!
Check out the video for Blood Pressure. As always, its a very interesting concept!