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That said, on to the review. With Singularity, Mae has clearly chosen to take a new tack into the realm of straight-up rock. This is apparent from the very start of the album.
The first track, Brink of Disaster, starts off with a rocking guitar intro accompanied by a rousing keyboard line which really adds a distinct Mae touch. The verses drop into a more reflective mood, then rise back up into a high-energy chorus. This is followed by a fantastic bridge which only adds to the excitement. The song ends with Dave Elkins, in his inimitable way, screaming "asleep at the wheel!"
Crazy 8s is the next track, a more melancholy, slow-paced song with a soaring chorus in which Elkins asks "can you stay with me tonight?"
The third track is Sometimes I Can't Make it Alone, the first single from the album. Here we see a grittier edge to Mae, as Elkins showcases just how versatile his voice is and the guitars relentlessly grind out a hard accompaniment. This song is a make-or-break effort on Mae's part. Fans of harder rock will definitely enjoy it, while those who fondly remember Mae's smoother, more "emo" days will wonder what happened to the band they know and love.
With Just Let Go, Mae slows it down a little with a lilting tune that you'll find easily gets stuck in your head.
The next two tracks, On Top and Waiting, are two of the more forgettable songs on the album. That said, they are still strong efforts, with Waiting showcasing an excellent keyboard line by (unfortunately) former member Rob Sweitzer.Read more ›
It sounds like they wanted to make a "safe" album filled with songs that are radio-friendly, songs that fans can jump to at concerts. I would describe it as uninspired with pockets of brilliance, like the sweeping Just Let Go, and the bridge of Release Me, which builds up to a soaring climax and then falls flat by just going back to the regular chorus.
Don't get me wrong -- this is still a really solid rock album and I have it on repeat on my iPod, it's just that I don't think the album does justice to the amazing talent these guys have. I don't know if they got lazy, or if maybe the studio made them go in a certain direction, or what the deal is, but the bottom line is that I didn't expect an album of easy listening sing-along songs. I expected an album that challenges me musically and philosophically, like The Everglow did.
Now, having said all that, I still recommend Singularity. As a rock album it is still way above average. But if you're looking for something different that'll keep you busy for years to come, get The Everglow instead...
The point is that MAE created such high expectations for me and many others that I think have done a nice job on this forum of reviews. Destination:Beautiful was very good, a great start. The Everglow is a step forward. Singularity, well, is a step backwards. The diversity of music on the album is bland. Yes, it has a pretty smashing opening track that gives the album potential. But most of the rest of the album, with the primary exception of Just Let Go, is MAE trying to extend their reach and define themselves as a rock band, rather than just, well, MAE. Again, I think most of the other reviewers on here have done a great job. If you are considering purchasing this album because you are already a MAE fan, then do so. It's not a bad album at all. It's a mediocre album that's relatively catch, put out by a great band. If you want to get into MAE, purchase The Everglow. If you want some new tunes by MAE, check Singularity out. I've grown complacent in terms of finding new music. I was hoping for better from MAE, but I still believe that their best music is yet to come.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have loved this band since the first time I saw them live (opening up for Rise Against years ago). Read morePublished on February 15, 2014 by Miss K
Received in a great amount of time, Item met expectations. 10 more words to be considered finished with this.YEAH! Love it!Published on August 11, 2013 by TimiMcCann
This is my least favorite mae album. It is a drastic departure from what I loved about them on Destination: Beautiful and Everglow. Read morePublished on November 29, 2011 by Cameron W.
I bought this album a while back but it is hands down in my top three albums of all time. Every song in this album is good, but some of my favorites are Sometimes I can't make it... Read morePublished on August 6, 2011 by music_lover
Most of the reviews written so far all compare this album to Mae's previous work, The Everglow. All of those reviewers are being incredibly cramped in their reviews! Read morePublished on November 2, 2009 by Jefferson E. Schaecher
Most people were blown away by The Everglow, which set the standard for anything else this band delivers from that point on. Read morePublished on September 23, 2009 by S. W. Lincoln
Mae's album The Everglow was one of my favorite CDs of 2005. Now they're on a major label, Capitol Records, and expectations are high. Read morePublished on January 13, 2009 by Daniel Spratlin
I became a fan of Mae when I heard "Suspension" and subsequently bought The Everglow. It was simply a beautiful album, and so when Singularity came out, I was eager to hear it. Read morePublished on October 26, 2008 by Liz