Friday, September 18, 2009

Mute Math: Armistice

Hmm...where to start? O! Ok so don't want to start there. Hold on. Ok here we go, "Clipping"...nope, kinda want to do a "save the best for last" thing there....
Remember when Maroon 5's first record came out? No? Pessimist, try! It was so different from what was going on at the time. I loved it, it was something like rock/rnb fusion. It was one of those rare (at the time) records you could enjoy regardless of what genre you usually listen to. I call those "one-stop shop records", cause everything you need is right there. These usually contain soulful vocals, hard guitars, smooth drums and insightful lyrics. Now, too much of one of these elements would tip the scale making the album heavy on one genre; so if you were shopping you would not find...I mean if you were stopping at the shop...wait...I lost my analogy, damn. Well Armistice, Mute Math's latest release, is reminiscent of that feeling. Not necessarily of the Maroon 5 record-more like if Maroon 5 lightened up on the bass a bit and Ray Lamontagne was the lead singer instead of Adam Levine.
A while ago I did a post about Christian Rock, I fought my urge to mention Mute Math cause even though they have been referred to as a Christian Rock band since their debut, that never fit to me. The lyrics on Armistice are pretty dark ("Burden"), anything but inspirational ("Backfire"). There's even a little something something about drugs ("Valium"), and a little something something else about sex ("Electrify")- all very good things. The members might be Christians but that's not what's being reflected in the music, by that I mean religion period is not reflected in the music at all.
The Maroon 5 comparison is meant solely as a base comparison to the style of the vocals and the rhythm section. To get really into that "what it sounds like" thing I would have to go back to the 80's and dig up the "New Wave". I wasn't born yet so that's really hard for me. I'll call my mom and get back to you. But I can tell you Armistice DEFINITELY reminds me of music my mom would blast (from the past) during parties and gatherings...or while she was cooking or cleaning...generally just breathing.
My favorite track on the record is "Clipping". I have so many thoughts about this one song! There's something about the chorus and how it's so repetitive that it takes up most of the song that makes me emotional. When songs are arranged this way it's as if the song IS crying, it's continuous chorus is playing out the rhythm of a cry. And I'm not a crier, never have been. I haven't cried since I was 9. But certain songs project SO much intense emotion that sometimes I feel like I'm crying through them. "Clipping" is definitely one of those songs. It doesn't help that the song has the most depressing lyrics of all time. I'm pretty much convinced the song is about what was happening with the band as they were writing this record. Things got so bad they almost broke up. They hired Producer, Dennis Herring, and canned all the songs they had written (and were fighting over) for what would become Armistice and wrote 20 new ones.
Ok well, it's 10am which is a couple hours past my bed time!

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