on September 26, 2006
Once again, mewithoutYou deliver a very good album. Only this time around, we must call their newest effort Excellent. A beautiful Vasily Kafanov painting adorns the cover of the album, which follows precedence. The music inside the cover takes a cue from the painting itself. Layered with gorgeous orchestration and lush harmonies, Brother, Sister is sure to please. This album proves the band has taken another step down the road of musical progression and artistic expression. Not as hard as their first record; not as spare as their second- this one is just right.
Equally dreamy and dramatic, Aaron Weiss sings us lullabies guised as differently colored spiders and nearly brings tears to the eyes of the soft-hearted on the opening track, Messes of Men. The closing track, In a Sweater Poorly Knit will sweep you away on a wave of ecstasy. As for all of the songs in between- well, you'll just have to listen and make up your own mind. Anyone searching for filler will be hard pressed trying to find it on this album. Brother, Sister will seep into your ears and plant seeds in your heart. Cherish these tunes and cultivate their message with care. May God Bless You.
on October 1, 2006
Where to begin? As much hype as this record has received I didn't believe my expectations could be met. Boy was I wrong. In fact, this may be a dark horse candidate for album of the year. And with gems out this year like TV on the Radio's "Return to Cookie Mountain," Thom Yorke's "The Eraser," Anathallo's "Floating World," Band of Horses "Everything All the Time" and The Format's "Dog Problems," that's saying a lot.
This record exhibits more depth than past releases. Where "Catch for Us the Foxes" showed that the band was capable of far more than they let on in "A->B:Life," "Brother, Sister" shows an even further and more promising progression. In some ways an amalgam of their previous two releases and in other ways something completely new and special, we hear almost right away that the band has been busy evolving. Vocalist Aaron Weiss is our first example of progress as he has taken a greater interest in actually singing. While this is nothing new, the frequency with which he colors his poetry with melody has increased significantly. It seems that he is beginning to discover that power of his fragile voice as he has also begun to expand the expressive range of his "speaking" voice, ranging from a soft spoken introduction in "Messes of Men," to the now familiar shouting.
Of course, our progress doesn't stop there. While the band tends to lean more heavily on musical textures reminiscent of those found on "...Foxes," they also bring back a little bit of the post-hardcore found on their debut, all while expanding on both of those sounds and expanding their instrumentation to included harp, accordian, acoustic guitars and brass. All of these instruments lend a depth to their sound that has always been alluded to in the past, but not really fleshed out completely until now. Even their new way of using backing vocals gives them a newfound power, with the other band members sounding like a broken choir. As an added bonus, we get a guest appearance by the unmistakable Jeremy Enigk (Sunny Day Real Estate, The Fire Theft). Normally the use of a guest vocalist doesn't lend much added depth to a song. Not the case here. Enigk's high, shredded cry brings a chilling effect to the backing vocals on "Dryness and the Rain," as well as to the not-so-background vocals on "O, Porcupine."
Perhaps the most accomplished aspect of this record is its construction. Though each song works well on its own, it's really the experience of the record as a whole from start to finish that helps it stand out. Even more impressive is their ability to convey a sense of the epic without resorting to epic song lengths.
Lyrically, this release is just as strong as ever, if not their strongest yet. However, this album is also their most "christian" album, frequently referencing the likes of Moses, Job, and, of course, Jesus. Those turned off by such blatantly religious content shouldn't be too disauded as Aaron's lyrics tend to come across as more personal than preachy.
If you didn't know before, you should know now: this is a band to watch in the coming years. Having a record this accomplished this early in their career is impressive enough, but having each one out-do the last is more rare still. Check this album out. You won't be disappointed.
on September 26, 2006
I have had the pre-release of this album for about a month and a half and I cannot describe how utterly amazed and estatic I was when I first heard "Messes of Men" drip through my speakers. I knew that mwY had it in them to just totally smash my expectations... but I didn't expect it.
And they did.
This album is one of those fantastic cds that works well as a whole album... and just about every song works exceptionally well as a stand alone track, also. There are times when saying that the album flows from one song to another is a bad thing... but in this case it doesn't mean that the songs sound the same at all. They just work really well together in their sequencing.
Compared to their past work this album feels more organic and textured. A lot more acoustic guitars (that's right, Aaron picks up the hippie axe)... some horns (coutesy of Anathallo)... a little accorian-esque critter (also done by Aaron)... which, when coupled with some astonishing song twists and turns is quite a stunning experience.
Perhaps the single thing that most catapults this album is the great background vocals. They are first demonstrated on track one, "Messes of Men." Aaron mumbles through several verses, at first accompanied by raindrops... then by the rest of the band. And then the back ground vocals bring a theatrical flair, moaning above Aaron "Oh my G-d!" Shivers!
What mewithoutYou has done is craft not only a career defining masterpiece, but an album that could well join scenester hipsters, the anti-folk crowd, the post-punk Fugazi faithful, poetry slam attendees, emo self-depricists, and Christians all in one careless sweep.
Will everyone "get it"? No. But enough people should "get it" to catapult mewithoutYou to the upper echelons of stardom.
on April 14, 2014
I did not think that I could love this album more than I did...but their music was meant to be played from a vinyl. .Only thing that beats it is live. I was not too sure at first because I had heard bad things about colored vinyls. I'm a huge fan of Mewithoutyou you and this did not disappoint at all
on October 9, 2006
Once again, MeWithoutYou has done it! No other band that I have heard has come even some-what close to capturing the feelings and originality that these fellows have. There is a distinction in their music that is unreachable by all other bands! "Brother, Sister" is a wonderful addition to their collection of fascinating music. I admit I was, as with all bands, a bit skeptic before it came out. Seeing as how I am in Iraq right now, and my wife is in the states, I knew she would buy it, so i found somewhere to download it (a bit ahead of time, actually). I listened to it, and listened to it. I was in a strange MWY daze, as with all of their albums, so I knew it was another winner!
1) lyrics (5) once again aaron has done it, this guy is just a genius, through and through! All of his lyrics can be felt and understood so many different ways, and we should all feel blessed to be invited into his mind!
2) music (5) their music is always... really the only word to fully describe it is "interesting". They can't be compared to anyone else, their music just SCREAMS "hey, this is us, and nobody else". Great use of instruments and other objects other than only the guitar, drums, etc the normal stuff.
3)album overall (5) I wouldn't dream of giving this one anything less than a 5! if there was a higher available, I'd put the stars through the roof!
If you are a fan of MWY, you MUST get this one! you will not be disappointed! If you haven't heard them yet, this one may be too far gone for you, and of course, as with all bands, I would suggest getting their albums in order. So, go out and get A:B Life, Catch For Me The Foxes, and this beauty, Brother, Sister!
on September 15, 2008
I don't think perfection in music is possible, but this comes pretty close. I know this is not everyone's cup of tea, but if you try this tea and it is the kind of tea you like, and this tea is just the right temperature, and you just happen to be in the mood for tea...well then brother, this is some good friggin' tea!
If this is anywhere near your taste in music you must give it a few concentrated listens - don't listen to it while you tend to your compost heap or weave your hemp blankets on your old rickety loom - just do nothing for about an hour except listen to this album...and then a day or two later do it again...it will grow on you like a fungus...perhaps an organic fungus...maybe you can eat the fungus and you will have discovered a new sustainable food source.
This is a great CD - I would tell anyone to buy this album, unless they were deaf, because that wouldn't be funny.
on June 26, 2007
I've been a fan of mewithoutYou for almost two years now. I got "Catch For Us The Foxes" and liked it. I bought this album not really expecting much improvement, but let me tell you, mewithoutYou has made leaps and bounds between the two records. This album stands as a cohesive album rather than just 13 rock songs randomly thrown together, which is what "Foxes" sort of felt like at times. This album is full of experimentation, as there are more instruments, more singing, even vocal harmonizing, new and creative rhythms--it's really a dramatic improvement in the band's sound. The lyrics are as sharp as ever, managing to be poetic and accessible at the same time.
The only drawback to this album is that Aaron Weiss, the singer, can be very irritating if you don't buy into what he's saying. Not that he's spreading propaganda or preaching fire and brimstone, but he's just very open and honest, and makes himself so emotionally vulnerable that it's hard to listen to if you can't let yourself become vulnerable along with him. Yeah, I know it sounds dumb. But it's the truth. This album will turn you off if you won't let it under your skin.
So, if you're prepared to let yourself be carried away wherever the album takes you, then by all means, buy it. Even if you're not prepared to hear Aaron bare all his emotions, you can probably still get it and let it grow on you.
I recommend this album.
on October 8, 2015
This album is perfect! I'd argue that it's the greatest post-hardcore album next to Fugazi's "Repeater" and The Dismemberment Plan's "Emergency & I". It incorporates many genres (most notably folk) to make a gorgeous work of art. Plus, Aaron Weiss's multi-layered lyrics are hard to beat. Best songs are "Messes of Man", "In a Sweater Poorly Knit", and my favorite "O Porcupine". A must own!
on February 20, 2008
I cannot remember a band's first three albums each being so individually distinct and yet each so completely successful. `Brother Sun Sister Moon' is a more accessible album than `Catch for us the Foxes' or `A-->B'. My wife liked it by her third time through (where it probably took 20 listens and a concert for her to lukewarm up to Foxes). I have started giving it as a gift to those who I think might not put in the solid six to ten listens it took me to fall in love with MWY's earlier stuff. Catch for us the Foxes remains my favorite album but Brother Sun Sister Moon takes a close second place
Gone are the ubiquitous references to suicide in favor allusions to gardening, soil and spiders. Aaron seems oddly at home in more mature, settled themes and the musical style is softer and makes increased use of a thing other artists like to call melody. From the opening sounds of a soft but building rainfall it was clear that we were getting yet another experimental album, and we were better off for it. Honestly, the tone was very Franciscan, if you will (damaged but life giving spirituality, animals as messengers of beauty and hard, rewarding work in the soil) as its title might suggest. Yet there is still plenty of the gruff, disorienting syncopated poetry that made me fall in love with Foxes. I think it is the lovely strangeness of the style that gives these CD's the refreshing quality of inexhaustible listenability.
Messes of Men is my run away favorite song, a painfully insightful track about restlessness and contentment, through an uncannily successful metaphor. In a Sweater Poorly Nit is next (see excerpt below). Cminor is a deeply spiritual song with painfully honest lyrics. I love that Aaron can weave poetry about a little mouse, his lonely father and his sexuality (or lack there of) into a single beautiful verse. In a market Dimly Lit has many of the best lines. There really isn't a bad song on the CD. I recommend it highly.
you're a door without a key,
a field without a fence
you made a holy fool of me
and I've thanked you ever since.
if she comes circling back
we'll end where we'd begun
like two pennies on the train track
the train crushed into one
or if I'm a crown without a king,
if I'm a broken open seed
if I come without a thing,
then I come with all I need
-Sweater Poorly Knit
on February 3, 2007
The third album from Tooth and Nail Records' genre bending rock outfit MewithoutYou is a true musical delight and a brisk breath of fresh air. As a band that refuses to fall in line a just another hardcore/emo band, MewithoutYou's fresh new sound is continually being changed and refined heading into "Brother, Sister".
On this gem of an album lead singer Aaron Weiss had decided to share his singing ability with us, using less of the psuedo rhythmic talking that was used exclusivley up until now. If you're a long time fan though, don't worry, most songs are a strong mixture of the two singing styles. Also Aaron's soft singing voice fits the music perfectly. As the band continues to experiment with new sounds we are greeted with a few new instruments to the mix including trombone and harp. Overall this album has a more mellow sound that previous outings.
A real key point of the new album is the poetic words of Weiss. Though this has always been a staple for the group, the lyrics this time around shows the definate stregthening in the singer Christian faith since their debut LP "A->B Life". The prime example is in the amazing song "Nice and Blue (pt. two)" a sequel so to say of the original track featured on their first album. In his beautfiul poetic lyrics (I consider him the best poet in modern popular music) Aaron show this growth in faith "If you look out and see a trace of a dark red that was once my face in the clarity of such grace, you'll forget all about me."
The album as a whole is strung together beautifully. Each song seemingly meant to be place next to one another (like all great albums should) The threee acoustic laden "Spider" sing alongs, that are placed among the record like interludes, also help to keep the album more conhesive. While the last song, the harp filled "In a Sweater Poorly Knit", is my absolute favorite track, helping to end the album on an amazing note. MewithoutYou has released another amazing CD and are currently making some of the best and most original music of our time! This album stands up well if not surpasses the bands brilliant early work.
Now if people would just take notice...