Showing posts with label of monsters and men. Show all posts
Showing posts with label of monsters and men. Show all posts

Thursday, August 1, 2019

video review: 'fever dream' by of monsters and men

And here we are - better than I expected, to be honest, thought I really wish this band would get a different producer so we'd actually get some different texture and depth.

Anyway, next up... hmm, we'll see. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

album review: 'fever dream' by of monsters and men any of you remember the debut breakthrough for Of Monsters And Men?

I certainly do - mostly because it felt really weird! Here was a band that released their debut in 2011, riding the success of crossover smash 'Little Talks', which I could argue is one of the best hits of the 2010s. And while most people only really knew Of Monsters And Men as a one-hit wonder curiosity, I'd argue that's a really unfortunate characterization of a pretty unique indie folk act, working dual vocals with a ton of melodic flourishes, diverse instrumentation, and songwriting that took a primal approach to heavy subject matter. In the era of Mumford & Sons, Of Monster And Men were more wild and untamed and took way more chances... so maybe it wasn't a good thing that it took until 2015 for them to release a sophomore follow-up. Granted, it didn't help matters that Beneath The Skin didn't really measure up to the hype - the singles didn't move in the same way, the production took steps towards conventionality to dilute a somewhat unique approach, and the writing just didn't have the same punch, leading to a good album but not a great one. And I'll admit it led to a lot of trepidation for the newest album FEVER DREAM, dropping another four years later when any sparks of that indie folk boom are long dead - and more alarmingly, while I had people asking me to cover Beneath The Skin, I got no requests to cover FEVER DREAM. But screw it, I still like this band, there had to be something here, right?

Monday, June 15, 2015

video review: 'beneath the skin' by of monsters and men

Eh, I do wish this was better, and I'm not sure how long it's going to stick with me, but still damn solid.

Okay, Algiers, FFS, and Sun Kil Moon for sure, but there's this Hilary Duff album that a part of me really wants to cover... eh, we'll see. Stay tuned!

album review: 'beneath the skin' by of monsters and men

I didn't expect to get as many requests to cover this album as I have.

And on some level, that's exciting, because it meant that Icelandic band Of Monsters And Men had somehow managed to make an impact in popular culture beyond just 'Little Talks', the song that somehow managed to chart just high enough to lodge a place on the pop charts in 2013, two years after it was released. And I'll admit, it was off of that song that I dug into their pretty damn solid debut album My Head Is An Animal. Now to put things in perspective, the reason 'Little Talks' did as well as it did was because Of Monsters And Men had fortuitous timing - the folk boom was kicking into gear, and they had the benefit of a horns section, potent melodic grooves, and interweaving male and female vocals to stand out from the crowd and especially from Mumford & Sons. Of course, the huge benefit that Of Monsters And Men also had was a wind-swept haunted swell to the production, some noisier electric guitars that never compromised the texture, and pretty damn solid songwriting that wasn't afraid to get weird in terms of a more feral brand of poetry. Or to put it another way, there's a reason why 'Little Talks' ran away as my favourite hit song of 2013 - because it's goddamn amazing.

So why haven't I been jumping all over their sophomore release? Well, part of it was a certain amount of trepidation: I wasn't initially wild about their opening singles, and early buzz wasn't great, especially emphasizing that the album reportedly had more filler. This was a concern for me, because if I were to level one big complaint with their debut, it'd be that their sound can have a certain uniformity to it if the songwriting or melodies don't stand out. It's not a bad sound by any stretch of the mind, but it can get a little repetitive. 

But look, I still like this band, so I dug into their sophomore album Beneath The Skin - was it better than expected?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

the top ten best hit songs of 2013 - video

So this turned out as well as I expected. List 2/4 done, stay tuned for more!

the top ten best hit songs of 2013

Here's a fun fact about me - as much as I nitpick and criticize and say all manner of things people don't want to hear about the music they love, I've got my own fair share of popular music that I cherish, appreciate, or outright love. Sometimes, quality rises to the top, and while none of this particular list will show up on my upcoming list of the best songs of this year, I still think they're worth mentioning if only to reinforce some vague sense of populism that I have. But really, it's nice to point out that some mainstream music gets popular because it's good, and sometimes pop or country or mainstream hip-hop can be just as good as the most underground of indie hits.

Now the rules are as before: the songs have to debut on the Billboard Hot 100 year-end chart this year - so as good as 'Die Young' by Ke$ha or 'Some Nights' by fun. are, I can't exactly mention them again on this list after they made my list last year. And on that note, don't expect any sort of coherent theme to these picks. While my year-end worst list had an abundance of terribly vapid luxury rap (especially near the top), on a year as varied and confused as the 2013 chart would indicate, my choices might surprise you. And fair warning: you won't agree with the majority of this list.

So let's get started with some Honourable Mentions, shall we?