Mew - No More Stories Are Told Today, I'm Sorry, They Washed Away, No More Stories, The World Is Gray, I'm Tired, Let's Wash Away
Record Label: Sony BMG
Release Date: August 17, 2009
To start this review, I'd like to acknowledge that being signed to Sony BMG, the second largest record company in the world, while still remaining to be labeled indie (in a way), is a very impressive in its own. It's surprising to see Mew keep their ground in their fifth album to date, in such a strong release.
Definitely a lighter and happier album than it's predecessor And the Glass Handed Kites, No More Stories... seemingly falls into a deep dream, and allows the listener to be seduced by its soft vocals and synths, occasionally complimented by catchy, poppier songs ("Introducing Palace Players", "Repeater Beater"). It's one of the few albums that has enough hints of indie combined with fragments of originality that induces me into a trance, a trance that makes me want to either dance in a basement sporting nothing but hospital socks and a homemade Christmas sweater with a few friends, or fall asleep smiling.
The album starts off on an odd note, as the opening track is actually a song played backwards. "New Terrain" blends into the awkward sounding "Introducing Palace Players", but is made up for - my apologies for redundancy - in its catchy and dreamy prog-rock. It's obvious Mew tried to squeeze a few singles out of their 2009 release, and they managed to accomplish this with the aforementioned "Introducing Palace Players" and "Repeater Beater". The album starts strong, disregarding the opening track, whose weirdness unfortunately condemns a skip to track two.
"Intermezzo 1" plays for about ten seconds, and after this nostalgic Super Nintendo-esque intermission is my personal favorite off the album, "Silas the Magic Car". The ambiguous track provides a slow and fluffy feel, with vague lyrics (repeatedly pleading "I want to be loved", then referring to "Silas and Bo") and even vaguer piano and drums providing most of the substance of the song. "Cartoons and Macreme Wounds" gives us a seven minute journey into what seems like the soundtrack to that one dream we had a while ago and will never forget, with its overlapping and often indecipherable lyrics and bass-less tone.
"A Dream" acts as another intermission in the album and a transitional track into the poppy track, "Hawaii". Ironically enough, "Hawaii" makes you feel like you're in a hipster's version of Hawaii. This upbeat but not too overexcited theme continues into "Vaccine", and dies a bit with "Tricks", which reminds me of any and every MGMT song. "Intermezzo" again transitions us into another part of the album, the deepest and densest part of all. "Sometimes Life Isn't Easy" seems to sum up every emotion in the album thus far perfectly, while having its own style. The album ends with "Reprise", which is simply a reprise of "Silas the Magic Car", with different lyrics and a darker and heavier vibe.
The complex album coaxes Mew fans to stick with them for the ride they're still one of their best efforts. The multiple styles and themes compile a total amalgamation of a dreamy and abstract concept, and a lasting impression on myself.