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The Hawk Is Howling [Limited Edition]

Mogwai, Maximilian HeckerAudio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Price: $18.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 10 Songs, 2008 $9.49  
Audio CD, Limited Edition, 2008 $18.99  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 23, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: 2008
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Limited Edition
  • Label: Matador Records
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,251 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead
2. Batcat
3. Danphe And The Brain
4. Local Authority
5. The Sun Smells Too Loud
6. Kings Meadow
7. I Love You, I'm Going To Blow Up Your School
8. Scotland's Shame
9. Thank You Space Expert
10. The Precipice
Disc: 2
1. DVD

Editorial Reviews

Mogwai's sixth album continues to showcase the fiercely layered guitars and dynamics of their classic work, and features a new array of rhythms and melodies. These hint more than ever before at their electronic and metal influences. Not only do they remain masters of the eloquently stretched guitar phrase, but they've also expanded the syntax to include a new, almost beat-driven sound. Limited deluxe CD+DVD in gatefold digipak includes video for "Batcat", directed by Dominic Hailstone (Aphex Twin), plus the Vincent Moon (The National) short film about Mogwai, "Before It Sounds".

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Mogwai is the forefront of their particular brand of post-rock, sonic manipulatory, mood altering, mindscaping compositional cathedrals. Although comparisons with Sigur Ros will continue, Mogwai really has taken a grittier road than the more delicate post rock Icelandic heroes. Mogwai has never been scared to dwell on a reverberating power chord, and they definitely try to squeeze all the emotional resonance out of some pretty downtempo guitars as possible here. Does this take away from the power or intimacy of the music? By no means. If you enjoyed Happy Songs for Happy People, this probably going to satisfy you, although things are not quite as melodic as on that album. The fuzz guitar has been turned up significantly, and there is an increased use of chromaticism here that would have been out of place there. There is much less emphasis on melody, and more emphasis on power, raw waves of feedback being more common here.

Not that there aren't moments of piano driven beauty. The beginning of Daphne and the Brain is just lovely, with a swelling guitar behind the piano as a fantastic counterpoint. But for every Daphne and the Brain, there is a Batcat--a track that is loud, angry, and very upset about something. And ultimately, Daphne also swells and demands to be noticed. The soft crescendo of the songs can become a little predictable after a while, but is still worthwhile.

I am not sure if this will hold up as well over time as Happy Songs has for me, but I am certainly going to continue listening to it. I have awarded it 4 stars because it is beautiful, powerful, well constructed, but not precisely revelatory, and not really a grand step forward. Even so, it will be a welcome edition to the Mogwai catalog for years to come.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautifully Soft Hard Rock Album December 2, 2008
By N. Hall
Format:Audio CD
While there are no drastic departures from the melodic, brooding, hopeful sound of previous Mogwai works, there are a few minor changes that add up. First of all, The Hawk is Howling contains no vocal elements at all. Also missing are most of the electronic dubbing and sampling of previous works, yielding some of their most organic tracks to date. Perhaps most importantly, this album seems much more straightforward than their other offerings, with an emphasis on power rather than intricacy. There's plenty of somber, crystalline structure here, but there's also a newfound willingness to write tunes you can hum or stomp along to. Each track, excepting perhaps "Batcat," has an immediately apparent melody that could be played by one or two people on keyboards without losing too much vitality, and most tracks feature heavy vamping. The resulting tunes are simple and memorable. Everything is a little more aggressive and less complex than on previous Mogwai efforts, without losing the depth and creativity they're known for. This is elegant work.

While the overall mood is fairly consistent, there's quite a lot of stylistic variety on The Hawk is Howling. The strangely named opener "I'm Jim Morrison I'm Dead," with it's shimmering piano line and powerful organs, sounds like what might happen if Mr. Spock wrote a Klingon opera. On the other hand, "The Sun Smells Too Loud" is upbeat, even danceable, conveying a sense of enjoyment with the emotive force most artists in this genre sadly reserve for melancholy. "Scotland's Shame" is a straightforward, driving anthem that will immediately setup housekeeping in your hippocampus. "Danphe and the Brain" and "Thank You Space Expert" are catchy numbers that sound like somebody bouncing wordless poems off the sky.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Soundscapes and Heavy Metal Combine September 23, 2008
Format:Audio CD
For the uninitiated, Mogwai is one of the most popular (and most talented) "post-rock" bands in the world. They have been rocking and rolling for almost ten years and their albums stand as monuments to post-rock music. What is post-rock you ask? I don't know exactly...but I know I enjoy most music labeled as "post-rock."

"The Hawk is Howling" is another fine addition to the Mogwai catalog. Like every Mogwai release, the music captures many different emotions and sentiments.

The track sequencing is superb. (Listen to every track from the beginning to the end.) The album features both soft, meandering guitar pieces and loud, furious guitar pieces. The soft tracks and the loud tracks work together to create a unique experience.

The opening track, "I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead," is gentle and melancholic and then it soars upward in volume and intensity.

Track two, "Batcat," explodes with layered, heavy guitars.

The next track, "Daphne and the Brain," is breathtaking (for lack of a better word). (Turn up the volume and soak it up.)

The next several tracks, "Local Authority," "The Sun Smells Too Loud," and "King's Meadow" are all flawless.

Track seven, "I Love You, I'm Going to Blow Up Your School," is gloomy and ominous, but perhaps the most thought-provoking track on the album.

Tracks eight and nine, "Scotland's Shame" and "Thank You Space Expert," are gentle, but more uplifting and positive.

And the final track, track ten, "The Precipice," builds to a fantastic and conclusive finish.

(Several B-Sides, not included on this version, are circulating throughout the internet; they are awesome too! But DO NOT download this album. Show some respect for the artistry and the artists.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
An awesome album for anyone looking for a chill but heavy mix. I am utterly enthralled to own an album by these guys
Published 20 months ago by Ben Hogan
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hawk Is Howling
I love this CD. When ever I feel like I just need to sit down and think about life I pop it in my CD player, lay in bed, and just relax. Mogwai are truly masters of their craft.
Published 23 months ago by evan jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Just amazing...
I never heard of Mogwai before buying this one, just found the cover interesting. This is one of my all time favorite recordings, ranking up there with the likes of some of my... Read more
Published on May 15, 2011 by J. A. Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars great
they are really one the best i've ever heard. it really depends your taste, so you should listen to it to decide for yourself.
Published on June 13, 2010 by A. Y.
4.0 out of 5 stars Return to form
For Mogwai's 11th album, "The Hawk is Howling" they reunited with producer Andy Miller (producer of Young Team) and created a stunning work. Read more
Published on July 12, 2009 by Greg Kinne
2.0 out of 5 stars The howling is more like a whipmer.
I hate to burst everyone's bubble but . . . .

0) Hawks don't howl.

1) The bird on the cover is a bald eagle not a hawk. Read more
Published on January 18, 2009 by MBA
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT Addiction to your Mogwai collection !
Or start to build your Mogwai collection from here.
Great Album !!
Still keeping this quality !
Published on December 26, 2008 by Jerry Wong
5.0 out of 5 stars MOGWAI IS BACK AND HOWLING!!
I can't tell you how happy I was when I heard this album for the first time. It seems like Mogwai are finally getting back to their foundation, which is instrumentals with hooks. Read more
Published on October 15, 2008 by SUPERMAN
5.0 out of 5 stars Great music
The latest release and latest in bizarre titles for the Scottish band Mogwai "The Hawk is Howling" follows the same formula as "Mr. Beast" their 2005 release. Read more
Published on October 9, 2008 by J. Harbertson
4.0 out of 5 stars More good stuff
I got into Mogwai a few months ago with Happy Songs for Happy People. I was blown away and pre-ordered this album along with a few of their earlier albums. Read more
Published on October 5, 2008 by D. Duncan
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