Mew – Visuals

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Released: 28/04/2017  DEN |

The most surprising announcement of 2017 came, when the Danish Alternative band Mew revealed that they’ll be bringing a new album out… This album’s name is “Visuals” and it came only two years after “Plus Minus” – You know, the band usually took years between records.
Anyway, today we’re gonna check out “Visuals” and you should stick with us in case you want to know more.
And just as you, we don’t know what’s coming at us. So… What kind of visuals do Mew have on their mind?

The opener titled “Nothingness And No Regrets” (Yes, that’s just one of the many interesting song titles on this album) is magical in the way it doesn’t sound like much at first. But then we get the distinctive Mew-styled drumming and it kinda turns to the better. It’s nothing in the likes of “Frengers” and “The Glass Handed Kites” – the records I fell in love with several years ago…
But it’s indeed interesting. Will “Visuals” be more than expected?
The Wake Of Your Life” continues and… Yeah, it was a pleasant surprise. This funky piece will probably make you fall in love with the band’s signature sound. But it doesn’t bring anything all too new with it. An okay track. It won’t disappoint you.
And even though it’s not entirely five minutes… It seems like an eternity in the end. Is that a positive thing? You decide.

Even though you don’t expect this song to be what it is, “Candy Pieces All Smeared Out” is actually the biggest highlight of the record. It gets all dramatic here and it’s probably the most Metal song I ever heard by Mew… Or… Let’s just say it’s really heavy. Didn’t expect something like this ever happening on “Visuals”. Pure love!
With “In A Better Place” things get shoegazey and nice. Again, that’s the softer side of this Danish band. The vulnerable side that doesn’t want to hurt no one.
It’s time for even more questionable song titles. Yay! The song’s name is “Ay Ay Ay” (Imagine someone saying this on the radio when announcing this track) and… Why are the songs with the weirdest titles the best ones? The guitar sound is pure form of magic. Well, just take a listen to this one. It’s just… Different. In a strangely cool way. Ayyyyyyy…

Visuals” will cause your mood to drop a little while listening to “Learn Our Crystals”. It just goes up and down like a rollercoaster and I fucking hate rollercoasters… Let’s say it goes up and down like… I don’t know, actually… There’s nothing much special about this track. It didn’t get my attention and the brass-part was kinda… Reasonable.
Twin Quest” is another track that is promising in the beginning, but turns out to be kinda – sorry – boring. Yes, the band indeed tried something new on this record, but sometimes things don’t work out much for other people… There’s simply nothing special here… It’s just dragging around of things that should kinda be left on “+ –”. Uninspired choruses, for example.  And could you get rid of that saxophone already?

Mew lacked a good and memorable vocal performance by their lead vocalist Jonas Bjerre on “Visuals” and we’re getting it on “Shoulders”. Nice enough!
And one of the first sneak peaks Mew gave us before releasing “Visuals” is called “85 Videos”, sure you know that. We shared it on our page. It’s perfectly fine. Nothing that would throw you from the couch, but… It’s a cool track that is very memorable for its synth hook and chorus. FINALLY! It took nine tracks to hear a hit-song.
What happens on “Zanzibar” should probably stay in Zanzibar forever, but what did I expect anyway? And to come to an end with this review, I have to admit that the very first release off “Visuals” was indeed quite underwhelming. I’m talking about “Carry Me To Safety”, but in the end it makes up a very nice ending to the album. It makes everything a bit more bearable.
And what are the impressions on “Visuals”? Mixed as fuck.

 

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Mew are a band that does not really set any boundaries when it comes to musical styles. During their career they went from energetic and statement-making Indie Rock to Progressive Art Rock and more currently the band is experimenting with Dream Pop with elements of all kinds.
That’s something that should be appreciated, cause… It would be boring to hear the same sound over and over again and that’s why I’m actually fond of this band.

Visuals” is a chapter on it’s own. You can’t really draw parallels from other releases by Mew. You might have the feeling that you’ve heard something similar before somewhere, but you don’t know why and you don’t really care. There are two really interesting tracks you should care about and the rest is… Well, either you’ll sit through it and analyze everything you hear, or you’ll pass it on.
Clearly, Mew is not a band to please everyone and that’s perfectly fine.
And who knows how “Visuals” would sound like if the band would take another five-year break in between?

Anyway… It’s a record you should definitely check out if you’re the kind of listener that wants to think about the music to possibly get a deeper meaning.
I think “Visuals” can be approved. It just needs time and understanding.

 

Take a Listen:

 

Personal favorites:

  • Candy Pieces All Smeared Out
  • Ay Ay Ay
  • 85 Videos
  • Carry Me To Safety

Rating:
★★★★★★★☆☆☆ //  Good. Everything is beautiful.

 


Written by M. Nyman-Sramkova. April 2017.

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