Mutemath: Third time is a charm

posted by Jeff | Sunday, November 6, 2011, 9:21 PM | comments: 0

The first album from Mutemath was the tits. It came out in 2006, everyone I knew had it, and it was fantastic. Great songs, great lyrics, and they have a fantastic drummer. I enjoyed that album on a regular basis for quite awhile, and even introduced it to Diana some time later after we started dating. It was one of those records you could listen to start to finish over and over again, a rarity these days.

It was almost three years before their second album came out, and it was so odd that almost nothing about it grabbed me. The song "Electrify" got some play here and there, but I never had any interest in listening to the album.

When their third album, Odd Soul, came out a few weeks ago, I wasn't sure what to make of it at first, but also wanted to make sure I gave it a chance. The first single, "Blood Pressure," blew me away the first time I heard it on XM. Like the second album, it still sounded like the band, but it was different.

Now that I've listened to it more, it has more than grown on me. It's definitely different than their debut, but not in a negative way. It feels more raw, like recorded jam sessions. It doesn't have the well-crafted song vibe I loved from the first, but that's OK. It seems like they're exploring, for lack of a better term. As a fan of the band, that works for me, but I suspect if you have no previous experience with them, you might not like it.

In fact, what this reminds me of a little is Radiohead. Their debut was this fantastic set of songs, on an album you could listen to start to finish, over and over. However, every album after got to be more experimental, until they stopped writing songs and just made noise (some exceptions here and there, most notably "Optimistic" from Kid A). I don't think Mutemath is headed down that path, but you never know.

This was feeling a little like a year of failure for music, but it's coming around. Also enjoying The Naked and Famous, Manchester Orchestra, a little Death Cab (when I'm feeling like a big pussy) and very anxiously awaiting the new Garbage album.


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