Customer Reviews: Moms
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4.5 out of 5 stars21
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on September 21, 2012
I have been a Menomena fan for years. They have been a consistently great band, and one that I believe has been underappreciated. So, when I had heard that Brent Knopf had left the band, I assumed that Menomena was gone for good. However, then came the announcement that the two remaining members were releasing a new album. I was pleasantly surprised upon hearing this news, but quite frankly I was skeptical. The reality is that none of us could really know what would be lost when one third of the band left. The good news is that it appears that nothing was lost, there is just some change. This album is fantastic - it is the tighest and most cohesive album Menomena has put out. Now, I will admit that some of what made a Menomena album great was that there were always surprises from song to song. The difference now is that the songs are thematically tied together, and they just flow from beginning to end. Also, there are still complex song structures that allow you to find new twists upon multiple listens. Bottom line is that Menomena is still alive and well, just a little different, and in some ways maybe a little better.
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on September 24, 2012
When I heard Brent Knopf left the band, I figured that was it, done, finito'. Well no mas finito' in my brain anymore as Justin and Danny's dramatic duo creation 'Moms' has proven that thought wrong in a big way. I wonder if this is how those two originally saw their music before Brent graduated from Dartmouth, joined in and began collaborating with them. The songs are different in 'Moms' as they don't have the radical jumps and textural randomness that the other albums presented. These are individual songs that move from point A to B in an less surprising but yet still very scenic Menomena laid path. There are no bumps in the road so-to-speak, it has been repaved. 'Moms' is a great Menomena album and is highly recommended. I wasn't disappointed, in fact I like this new road and look forward to my next vacation there.
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on October 21, 2012
After stumbling upon the music video for "Evil Bee" from their album "Friend and Foe", I have been a big fan of Menomena for years. "Moms" is not my favorite album of theirs, but it's on par if not better than "Mines" which is good considering the recent departure of Brent Knopf. Rather than giving the finger to Brent or being upset about the matter, Justin and Danny have crafted a very personal album about their parents, the struggles of being a decent man and other topics.

"Pique" is a sobering track at heart. Behind its distorted guitars and resounding horns are lyrics about being a huge disappointment to your loved ones. "Heavy Is As Heavy Does" wastes no time sending a message when a simple piano melody accompanies lyrics such as "Proud my father never was of me" or "I don't believe in second chances". "Skintercourse" explores the inevitable pains of romance and arguments, spouting words like "my overarching need to pry under your skin".

A few songs come off as filler at first listen, but every track on the album is solid in its own right. Grows on you, especially if you find common ground with the stories Justin and Danny are putting on the table. Highly recommend listening to the album with good headphones to catch every element, particularly for the quieter moments on the closing track "One Horse".

Looking forward to more of Menomena's consistently good releases.
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on November 2, 2012
After losing a member, I was worried how Menomena would sound. But on 'Moms' they are as rich and fresh as ever. There are no weak songs to here, and 'Heavy...' and 'One Horse' are emotional journeys.
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on October 12, 2012
5th album from duo out of Portland, Oregon--experimental indie pop/rock that combines a strong
sense of the melodic hook with strange sounds and broken-heart-beat rhythmic stutters. The
songs are ear-catching and tingly-fresh sounding, while keeping a reign on the clutter of chaos,
which allows the hummable center to shine through.
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on September 25, 2012
I have all 3 of their albums to this point. Moms, the latest release, shows that they are progressing at a steady pace with each album in peak talent. I do not think that this album eclipses Mines, however. The big problem, is consistency (song to song) in their albums. They have either made 5/5 songs or 1/5 songs for the most part. I always have tough time making it through an entire album of theirs without just skipping to the good parts. They seem to like to experiment quite a bit with their music, so we have to take the good with the bad. Not all experiments are breakthroughs. When Menomena hits, they hit hard, but there are more strikeouts than home runs. See "TV on the Radio".

Stand out songs are (in order)

Plumage 5/5 (probably their best song to date and ranks right up there with TAOS)
Pique 4/5 (another solid song, but the guitar solo 3/4 into the song tends to bring it down a notch). It just doesn't fit the flow of this otherwise great song.

Rest of the songs aren't standouts to me at this point, but I need 3-4 more listens to come to a final conclusion. At this point, I'd recommend just picking up the singles above. They are certainly worth your $. I wish the rest of the album was.
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on September 28, 2012
Though this isn't their best album, it has some of their catchiest and most accessible songs (Capsule and Pique in particular), and the band is just too good that I will almost always give them 5 stars. Go support Ramona Falls too, who is the one member who left this band to go solo. They're all amazing musicians who deserve infinitely more credit than anyone on mainstream radio right now.
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on October 18, 2012
After giving "Moms" a few listens, I went back to "Mines" to hear the big difference. This is still an above average album by indie rock standards, but the music is lacking, and it's obvious that losing Brent Knopf is the reason. I'm sure that music critics who dwell on how personal the lyrics have become will love it, but the music just isn't nearly as interesting. A couple exceptions are "Skintercourse" and "Pique", which may actually remain on my iPod.
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on December 18, 2012
I think this is their best work yet. Can't really pick any favorites because each song has it's place in the album but if I had to pick favorites I'd go with One Horse and Heavy is as Heavy Does. There are no fillers though.
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on September 23, 2012
Another magnificent album from the Portland boys. There are only two of them left, but the magic of Menomena is intact. "Moms" is a rich auditory experience, with layers of crisp piano, warm post-hip-hop beats and that gorgeous saxophone that has become their signature of sorts (Rolling Stone calls it a "cranky" sax). 2010's "Mines" was their masterpiece, in my opinion. Newcomers to Menomena should start from there. "Moms" however has a freshness to it, almost as if Brent Knopf's departure freed Harris and Seim to experiment with new stuff. Enter the fuzzed-out guitar psudo-riff of "Capsule," for instance. The most startling change is represented by the 11-plus-minute album closer "One Horse." Menomena are no strangers to long composition (see their experimental album "Under an Hour"), however this is the first time I see them put together a sprawling, textured epic of this magnitude. Perhaps it's the chronological proximity of the releases, but the song reminded me of Dylan's new Titanic song from "Tempest," in that you're not sure if you're listening to a complex masterpiece for the ages or a silly mind-F written by someone who is daring you to take them too seriously.
Anyway, gorgeous album that will keep me listening and discovering new things with every session. This is easily one of the best band in America. America should pay more attention to it, and less to the has-beens of art-rock (see the title of this review). Or maybe it's the relative lack of attention that keeps this band hungry and fertile. In which case, Radiohead fans, don't listen to Menomena!
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