Some bands create epic tracks with great effort and still come off as fake and insincere. Mew produces epic tracks without breaking a sweat. There is, however, a new direction on the fourth full-length effort, complete with a title too long for headlines, No More Stories/Are Told Today/I’m Sorry/They Washed Away/No More Stories/The World Is Grey/I’m Tired/Let’s Wash Away. Coming after And the Glass Handed Kites, this time around the band produced light, dreamy soundscapes that feel as comfortable as a nice, warm blanket, protecting one from an otherwise dark and dreary world.
“New Terrain” opens the album like a reset button for the mind, completely erasing everything you know — some parts were even recorded backwards. The opener slowly kicks in with a slow-ticking drumbeat (for those of you only familiar with the digital age, clocks actually used to tick) that soon morphs into a track that crawls in your ear and gets cozy. Hooks layer the song, as it builds into a pounding, drum-heavy number which eventually fades back into silence.
However, as soon as the first single, “Introducing Palace Players”, kicks in, singer Jonas Bjerre reminds one that “You gotta get back up yourself,” and, thanks to this song, that’s exactly what you want to do: Get up… and dance. The bouncing guitar parts of Bo Madsen do their best to stay on the off-beat, as nothing about this song stays stable for long. The second single, “Repeater Beater”, starts off with heavy guitar riffs and bass drum hits before quickly turning into a two-and-a-half-minute dance fest. The song, as Bjerre appropriately sings, leaves you with “Nothing to say” though much more than “Nothing to do.”
This time around, the band bypassed bringing in guest artists and instead chose to head back to school by inviting a kids choir to sing vocal parts, which is most notable on the percussion-laden “Hawaii”. The kids add a tinge of innocence to the already blindingly bright tunes they sing on.
However, not all the tracks remain quite so lyrically positive. “Sometimes Life Isn’t Easy” sounds like a terrible case of being “lovesick,” as Bjerre sings, “Hold my arms back when they beat me/Leave me in the ditch where they kick me/Sever my limbs and deceive me.” Throw in a tenor sax, hand claps, and a piano part, and this song contains a little bit of everything to utterly enthrall and relax every muscle in your body.
Mew’s music is like the paintings of Salvador Dali, or any other great surrealist artist for that matter; it melts away time and space into a glorious picture of a moment in time. Much like the last few albums, this one is sure to receive high praise from many outlets; however, only in due time will we truly be able to understand and appreciate what Mew has created.
No More Stories…