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on March 31, 2014
This review is of the vinyl version of the album.

Pros: Less dynamic range compression than digital release.

Cons: Poor quality vinyl. Both records are warped, and side 3 suffers from a lot of surface noise, pops and clicks. This after cleaning with a record brush and neutralizing static. I'm on my second copy of the album, the first I sent back because it was too badly warped and the sticker for side 3 was not glued on. On my newest copy sides 3 and 4 are pressed off center causing pitch variations.

Good album, just wish the vinyl pressing was of higher quality.

Edit - dropping my rating to two stars after receiving my third copy which is just as garbage of a pressing as the first two.
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on July 24, 2016
The album is unlike anything I've ever heard before. Sure it's folk or whatever you want to call it, but these guys truly have their own defined sound that really works. The superior musicianship of each individual in the band is showcased perfectly, and these guys really know how to work together to make very heart warming music. The pink vinyl tops it off. Personally, I like listening to this album best during a rainy early fall morning while sipping on delicious coffee and looking out the window and staring at the changing leaves.
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on July 27, 2012
I don't think that I've come across a debut album from an Icelandic rock band that was as good as Of Monsters and Men's since Sigur Ros's VON. Alright, so maybe Of Monsters and Men is the only other Icelandic rock band that I know... Regardless, of their origin, MY HEAD IS AN ANIMAL is a fantastic album on almost all fronts. The band's sound is akin to that of Arcade Fire's FUNERAL or Mumford and Sons' SIGH NO MORE. It's an earthy, heartfelt sound that owes itself to a folky disposition. Unlike those two other bands though, Of Monsters and Men's album is mostly positive, upbeat, and life-affirming.

Honestly, the first time I listened to this album, the only song that really stood out was the lead single "Little Talks." After its first spin, I dismissed the band as a product of hype. A few weeks later, I picked MY HEAD IS AN ANIMAL up again for another try, and, I'm not sure exactly what changed, but I couldn't believe what I had been missing out. There's a moral somewhere in this story, but I never seem to learn my lesson, so you might have to figure it out for yourself.

Seriously though, I listen to way too much music, and I can honestly say that MY HEAD IS AN ANIMAL is one of 2012's most satisfying releases. It's a great album to explore, but it's also nice to just have in the background. The melodies and harmonies are all strong, the instrumentation is wonderful, and the arrangements are all very tasteful. The band utilizes two vocalists: one male, one female. Their harmonies melt together in such a way that is reminiscent of THE XX. This album is a treat.

This album makes me feel guilty about giving other records out there 5-stars. MY HEAD IS AN ANIMAL is a consistently satisfying album by a band that everyone should be keeping their eye on. I would recommend this music to most anyone, but especially those who enjoy Mumford and Sons', Arcade Fire, and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Essential tracks to sample/download: "Little Talks," "From Finner," and "Dirty Paws."
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"My Head Is An Animal" draws its CD title from the lyric of the opening track, "Dirty Paws," which is a bouncy anthem with what might be an allegory. With its pounding rhythm and vocals sounding like a chorus of female soldiers, it's incredibly catchy, "They used to sing about the birds & the bees; The bees had declared a war, the sky wasn't big enough for them all; The birds, they got help from below, from dirty paws and the creatures of snow." The second track "King & the Lionheart" continues in the same vein, an upbeat tune with a lyric that appears to be about continuing on in the face of difficulty, "Howling ghosts they reappear in mountains that are stacked with fear." "Mountain Sound" is the third track, completing a strong 1-2-3 punch for the freshman set of this Icelandic band. It has a similar sound, a march-like upbeat tempo like a soundtrack to an epic adventure. The ninth track, "Your Bones" is also a favorite of mine with male vocals -- Ragnar I assume -- that are passionate, "So hold on to your heart." I read the CD reached #6 on Billboard's top 200. It is easy to see why with such catchy music and interesting lyrics. Enjoy!
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on March 13, 2015
I have to say, I really enjoy the tracks on this album, from Icelandic folk-pop band, 'Of Monsters and Men'. I feel this album is really consistent from start to finish, and a really upbeat vibe; moving from track to track, with ease. I purchased this album, without knowing too much about the band, and because I liked their song 'King and Lionheart'. After listening to the album for the first time, I was hooked; it quickly became a regularly played cd in my collection. Personally, I love 'Folk-Pop' music, and loved the unique riffs and instruments played throughout the compositions. I would say, if you're a fan of 'Mumford and Sons', or 'Imagine Dragons', you'll love 'Of Monsters and Men'.
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on September 5, 2012
I saw this group perform on Tonight show...I was sucked in by "Little Talks". After checking them out online, I bought their CD. Let me just say...they are a unique group that puts out some great songs. No duds in this album. "Little Talks" probably still my favorite, but several more are close. At first, the girl singers voice seemed a bit strange...kinda weird the way she chopped her words...thought maybe it was an Icelandic thing...??
But, the more I listened the more I started to appreciate her uniqueness. I think all the songs where the guy singer and her go back and forth are my favorites. Their voices create a kind of Synergy where together they are quite amazing. I have continued to listen to this CD over and over and I have yet to tire of it...which is a key for me as to how good the music is...I did the same thing with the last CD from Coldplay. Before you think I'm a music favorite musician is Neil, my street cred is legit...:)
I think the criticism from those saying all the songs sound the same is lame...they don't...there is a quality and a theme to the songs, but this is a CD...think Beatles Sgt. Pepper's album...themes are a good thing.
I will be waiting to see how their next CD plays out...hope they stand the test of time...
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on June 12, 2016
I love Of Monsters and Men and I was super excited to purchase the vinyl of My Head Is An Animal. The reason this gets four instead of five stars is because the actual records came mislabeled. The first record, labeled side one and side two, that was supposed to have the first six songs actually had the the last five. I'm sure it's a packaging issue with the manufacturer and not the seller, but if you put the first record on and get confused because you don't hear Dirty Paws, it's probably because yours were mislabeled too.
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on July 29, 2013
From the unfamiliar, mysterious lyrics to the singers' Icelandic accents, and the wall of music that flows from this band, I really enjoy listening to them. I actually prefer the live videos on YouTube, for they bring out the characters of the individual band members, and also allow them to tinker around the edges on some songs, like when trumpeter Ragnhildur Gunnarsdóttir alters her playing from one event to the next. The lead singers, Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir and Ragnar Þórhallsson. harmonize well together, and sing their solo parts with passion and joy. I like the fact that at certain parts of most of the songs, all of the band members sing, such as on choruses of songs. I also enjoy the many "Heys!" and "Lalalas" thrown into the mix. The CD, being a studio version, is a bit more clean and straightforward. What I mean by that is that the songs are wonderful, but seem to lack the feeling and joy apparent in the live performances. This band generally plays in a tight way, all of the instruments either supporting the others in what I think of as a wall of music coming at you, or else the guiatarists or the trumpeter weave their beautiful music in and out of the drums, acoustic guitars, and keyboards -- or sometimes, an accordion. Well done, guys and gals!
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on April 5, 2012
We all know Of Monster and Men's hit title, Little Talks. This album features that stunner and a slew of hits. The album is a breath of fresh air, and any true fan of music will absolutely love every song and will find themselves humming along. Do yourself a favor, if you are a fan of Mumford & Sons, Arcade Fire, or Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, do yourself a favor, and support this magnificent indie band.
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on August 17, 2012
of Monsters & Men -

If you want harmony, great beat(s), awesome vocals, skilled instrumentals, and a good time listening to excellent music, this album is for you.

Iceland is too cool, and so is OMAM.
They bring alot of talent and thought to the world of music.
Their folkie style is refreshing and well put together like a finely crafted beer!

This disc has it all, slow pace, upbeat, and inbetweeners.

My favorite track on this disc is "Lakehouse".

My head is now an animal too!
And I'm happy it is.

[5 out o' 5]
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