AbsolutePunk.net
   Username
Password
 
Album Review
Hint: Follow a reviewer to be notified when they post reviews.
Mae - (a)fternoon Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.5
Musicianship 8.75
Lyrics 6.75
Production 8.25
Creativity 7.75
Lasting Value 7.5
Reviewer Tilt 7.75
Final Verdict: 79%
Member Ratings
No one has rated this album. You can be the first.
Inside AP.net

Mae - (a)fternoon

Reviewed by: OurLadyCoolbean (01/03/10)
Mae - (a)fternoon
Record Label: Cell
Release Date: September 24, 2009

2009 has seen the release of the (m)orning EP from Mae, and now the 2nd release, (a)fternoon, is here. Mae has been generously donating proceeds from their music to various charities throughout the year, so there's an automatic reason to root for them. How's the music from these good samaritans though?

(m)orning showed Mae experimenting with more guitar-driven rock, but thankfully much different from 2007's Singularity. (a)fternoon continues in this vein, though the mood of the project is obviously attempting to create more of an afternoonish feeling. It begins with "Good (A)fternoon", an instrumental, starting it off the same way (m)orning was started. (It should be noted that the EPs are constructed in the same way-- seven minute songs, three instrumentals, etc). Listeners should recongnize a replica drumbeat from the first track from (m)orning, "Good (M)orning". It merely serves as an introduction, not intending to offer any substance. From there we get into the body of the EP.

"Over & Over" offers some fairly solid lyrics and an interesting chord progression. It's an enjoyable song, but really there's not too much to say about it. The song transitions into "The Fight Song (Crash and Burn)", which clocks in at 7:07. It should be fairly obvious what this song is about, comparing a verbal fight to a physical one. The main problem happens to be the length. If you can engage yourself with the song the whole way through, I applaud you. It meanders through some guitars before finally coming back to the chorus at the end, and by that time, it's pretty much not worth it. On (m)orning, the length worked for the songs, but for whatever reason, it just feels wrong here.

Next comes, musically, the best song of the EP, "In Pieces". Unfortunately, it happens to contain the worst lyrics. Although obviously heartfelt and sad (it appears to be about a former band member who wanted the spotlight and left the band, hmm...), Dave Elkins and Co. could have done without the specifics. As it is, the song is pretty unrelatable. However, if you enjoy a good tune, you will love this song. "The Cure" is a hazy little love song, thankfully not ruined by length, coming in at barely over 4 minutes. Given a few listens, it proves to be one of the best on the EP.

"Falling Into You" is the second instrumental, and thankfully, it keeps from being boring with some lovely acoustic guitars. It's a nice break and showcases the afternoon feel nicely. "Communication" is the seventh track. While another seven-minute-plus song, it doesn't feel stretched out or wade through boring guitar parts. It's a song with a story of communicating through music. Featuring some Starting Line "Something Left to Give"-esque "Lalala's" it's an almost perfect way to, in essence, close (a)fternoon. The EP ends with "(A)fternoon in Eden". Don't let the intriguing title fool you, it is an utter waste of a track. It contains literally nothing more than crickets chirping for almost 3 minutes. While I can understand that this gives a hazy afternoon feel, it's just an empty track. They could have closed this EP in so many better ways.

On (m)orning, the production arguably gave the songs their feel. While not what you would call stellar production, the tone of the guitars and the effects, while sounding slightly tinny, actually aided the songs, and this is the case on (a)fternoon. It was produced by frontman Dave Elkins, and it is interesting to note that former bassist Mark Padgett played on, engineered, and mixed most of the songs.

(a)fternoon proves not to be as good as "(m)orning", but it still achieves what it attempts to. There are a couple throwaway tracks, but there is enough good material here to make this a worthwhile buy. One can't help but be excited to see how Mae closes out their trio of EPs with (e)vening coming soon.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 9 of 9
11:10 AM on 01/05/10
#2
collideoscopic
Regular Member
Offline
User Info.
collideoscopic's Avatar
Solid review. I think you nailed most of it - I agree that even though I think pretty much everything Mae is doing this year is top notch, I did enjoy (m)orning more overall right from the get-go, while this one is taking a bit to grow on me. Not that it's a bad thing - growers usually end up being favorites of mine after all is said and done. Fight Song could definitely do without the middle part, and overall the songs could be a bit more concise. I'm not sure what the point of the seven-minute marathons is - Mae's strength definitely lies in engaging 3-4 minute pop songs and I hope (e)vening has more of those. "I Just Needed You To Know" that will be on that (e)vening ep is definitely one of those type of songs and one of the best tracks I think they've released this year.
08:49 PM on 01/05/10
#3
OurLadyCoolbean
False. Black bears.
Offline
User Info.
OurLadyCoolbean's Avatar
Solid review. I think you nailed most of it - I agree that even though I think pretty much everything Mae is doing this year is top notch, I did enjoy (m)orning more overall right from the get-go, while this one is taking a bit to grow on me. Not that it's a bad thing - growers usually end up being favorites of mine after all is said and done. Fight Song could definitely do without the middle part, and overall the songs could be a bit more concise. I'm not sure what the point of the seven-minute marathons is - Mae's strength definitely lies in engaging 3-4 minute pop songs and I hope (e)vening has more of those. "I Just Needed You To Know" that will be on that (e)vening ep is definitely one of those type of songs and one of the best tracks I think they've released this year.
I havent heard "I Just Needed You To Know", i must have missed that month. I definitely agree this one's a grower
And thank you to the editor who corrected everything on here, it was my first review ive done on this site haha
10:08 PM on 01/05/10
#4
nathaniel
Regular Member
Offline
User Info.
nathaniel's Avatar
Mae is a great band. I like their idea to do the three eps, though in my opinion The Everglow is still their greatest album by far. I'm excited to hear (a)fternoon.
09:46 AM on 01/06/10
#5
crypticv24
Registered User
Offline
User Info.
crypticv24's Avatar
Actually thought The Cure was the worst song of the bunch, though admittedly not much better than The Fight Song. Perfectly echoed my thoughts about everything else, though.
11:43 AM on 01/06/10
#6
Iwudstilldie4u
UCSD's AP.net liaison
Offline
User Info.
Iwudstilldie4u's Avatar
This was a good review. Excellent job for a first time.
07:26 AM on 02/06/10
#7
Ubermanoeuvre
Registered User
Offline
User Info.
Ubermanoeuvre's Avatar
I'm not entirely convinced about (a)fternoon. Obviously, The Everglow was a masterpiece, but I personally think that the pianos played a massive part in that album. Without a permanent pianist, the songs will take a different feel. I just don't anything particularly catchy or memorable when I listen to (a)fternoon. Mae are still one of my favourite bands though.

Iain
Ubermanoeuvre
02:47 PM on 04/12/10
#8
low_rising
Registered Member
Offline
User Info.
low_rising's Avatar
really liked this one but yea not as good as the previous
03:01 PM on 10/05/11
#9
Zac Djamoos
fantasizing the sight of manhattan
Offline
User Info.
Zac Djamoos's Avatar
Did you realize the EPs' parathesised letters spell the band name?
(m)orning
(a)fternoon
(e)vening
Options
Buy the Music

NEWS, MUSIC & MORE
Search News
Release Dates
Exclusives
Best New Music
Articles
CONNECT
Submit News
Forums
Contests
Mobile Version
AP.net Logos
HIDDEN TREASURES
AbsolutePunk Podcast
Free Music
Sports Forum
Technology Forum
Recommendations
INFORMATION
Advertising
Contact Us
Copyright Policy
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
FOLLOW
Twitter | Facebook | RSS
PropertyOfZack
PunkNews.org
UnderTheGun
Chorus.fm