mewithoutYou - Ten Stories
Producer: Daniel Smith
Release Date: May 15th, 2012
Iím a sucker for storytelling. I donít really know why, but Iím the kind of person that would rather hear an old wivesí tale than read a biography of someone who invented a type of snack food (Iím lookiní at you, Twinkies).
Maybe thatís why Iím so captivated by Ten Stories; itís one big story. mewithoutYou have a beautiful way of telling stories, whether itís a pure fairytale or the story of how Aaron Weiss canít seem to get through his day for whatever reason. Even though this is the bandís fifth album, itís their very first full-fledged concept record. The backbone of it all revolves around a circus train accident in the winter of 1878 and the exploits of the animals within the train. Each song is performed from a perspective of one (or a few) of the animals. Longtime fans of mewithoutYou can easily find the hidden personal messages of Aaron Weiss within the animalsí monologues, but that doesnít deter from the whimsical tales therein.
Musically, this is the album that (nowadays) defines mewithoutYou. There are elements in the album that accentuate every style the band has touched. Aaronís range of vocals from [Aó>B] Life to Itís all crazy! itís all false! itís all a dream! itís alright is all present on the album, and they work so well together. Even the fans that steered clear of Itís all crazy! somehow found their way back via Ten Stories. Itís further proof that Aaronís style has changed because he has also changed as a person.
This is in no way a pity record for old fans, but rather a look into the past to make the bandís future all the more incredible. They self-released this album to a great success. That alone ought to be enough to persuade people to give it a chance. To this day, Iím still caught off-guard by how amazing it all is. From hard-hitting opener ďFebruary, 1878Ē to quite possibly the calmest song the band has ever written, ďAubergine,Ē it really is unlike anything ever fashioned before from mewithoutYou. The only thing new listeners need to beware of is how mind-blowing each component is played out. Theyíve still got it, and theyíre hopefully not stopping anytime soon.