21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
What A Beautiful God There Must Be...,
This review is from: It's All Crazy! It's All False! It's All a Dream! It's Alright! (Audio CD)
MewithoutYou like to re-invent themselves with every record they put out. For some bands, this sometimes leads to people yelling things like '"sellouts" and the ever popular, "well, they used to be cool, but now they suck". Normally, these people have no clue what they are talking about and are just following whatever 'scene' or fad is 'in', currently. Anyone who can listen to MewithoutYou and call their newest release a 'sellout record' is, in my honest and unbiased opinion, musically misguided. People who say this probably only liked MewithoutYou because Aaron 'shouted a lot'. Weiss has completely abandoned his sing-shout vocal stylings of his early years in favor of straight singing. And never before has his voice worked better with the music.
This album is by far the most focused, elegant, engaging, bizarre, accessible, emotional, epic, restrained and all-around amazing album that the humble boys of MewithoutYou have ever crafted. And that is saying a lot. It was my most anticipated album of '09, and in no way at all did it let me down. Every single song of this release bleeds so such conviction, it's at times, almost unbearable. In the most beautifully moving way possible, of course. It truly seems as if every word sang and every note played has a divine purpose behind it. That is truly hard to come by in todays' music industry plagued by un-emotive, run-of-the-mill 'artists' who sing about their simply unbearable breakups and how much they hate their government while strumming the same power chords over and over...and over. And God forbid they throw in any instrument aside from electric guitar, bass and drums. Oh, and don't forget the ever-popular piano and acoustic guitar driven 'heartfelt ballad', which is essentially the same song you have listened to the whole record, just at a slower pace.
Now, part of me doesn't want to review each song separately, but I feel that is the only way to truly get across just how good every single one of these songs are. Truthfully, there are quite a few songs I like more than others, but every single song is a wondrous journey into the heart and mind of Mr. Weiss. Riddled with vivid imagery of food and animals, almost as if most of the songs are fables and parables put to song. This is something that I believe only MewithoutYou can do without coming off as childish or semi-pretentious. Now, onto the separate songs.
The album opens with a track that could have possibly fit very well on their third album 'Brother, Sister'. 'Every Thought, A Thought Of You' isn't one of my favorite songs on the album, but it is still exceptional. The first thing long-time fans might notice is that Weiss is very simplistic lyrically in this song. But this is, in no way, a bad thing. He gets his point across incredibly well for how simplistic his words are. It also has a very catchy 'da-da-da-da-da' chorus that is really enjoyable. The outro is also insanely entertaining. 'The Fox, The Crow and The Cookie' is the song that would be best fit for a single. It is an undeniably catchy little ditty that tells a very lighthearted story about, what else, a fox and a crow. This is also the track where you really begin to notice how experimental they have become with their instrumentation. Incorporating the fiddle and (believe it or not) a tuba into the mix. The final statement of the song also reaffirms Aarons' status as my favorite lyricist of all time. "When letting all attachments go, is the only prayer we know...may it be so, may it be so."
'The Angel Of Death Came To David's Room' is a personal favorite of mine. It is a very simplistic song about our unwillingness to accept death. It builds and builds and builds until it finally reaches an epic climax of Weiss and a slew of other vocalists (one of which I believe to be Scott Krueger of The Pslaters) proclaiming "Come now David where is everybody going?". Which brings to one of my favorite things about this album. The majority of the songs actually reach an utterly satisfying and powerful climax that sums up everything the song was trying to get across. Again, a rare feat in todays music industry. 'Goodbye, I' is another song in the same vein as 'Every Thought...'. I enjoy this one quite a bit better, though. It flaunts a predictable song structure that works exceptionally well for the song. Again, reaching a very satisfying climax. This song also includes some of my favorite guitar and bass work courtesy of Michael Weiss and Greg Jehanian, respectively; AND one of my favorite lines from the album. "There's a movement in our stillness and however much we move we are bound to stand completely still...so let's all stand completely still."
'A Stick, A Carrot, A String' is far from the most interesting song musically, but it is phenomenal lyrically. Telling the story of Jesus' birth from the perspective of the barn animals, in the beginning. Then telling the story of Jesus' prayer in the garden before His crucifixion. This song easily boasts some of the best lyrics one will ever hear from MewithoutYou.
"and the snake perked up
when he heard You ask
"if you're willing that
this cup might pass
we could find our way back home
maybe start a family all our own"
"but does not the Father guide the Son?
not my will, but yours be done.
what else here to do?
what else me, but You?"
and the snake who'd held the world
a stick, a carrot and a string
was crushed beneath the foot
of your not wanting anything."
'Bullet To Binary (Pt. 2)' is the only song you will hear on this album that even has a little shouting. This is a superb song and has some of the strongest overall instrumentation on the entire CD. As Aaron croons, "We all well know, we're gonna reap what we sow", it comes across as a baffling statement of poignancy and power. 'Timothy Hay' is a VERY uplifting and playful song. In a way, I actually believe it is my favorite from the album. I think it is because of the sheer hopefulness it brings with it. It ends with with Aaron joyfully singing "What a beautiful God there must be", and he sings it with such conviction that I believe it could make the most cold-hearted of Atheists break down and weep. 'Fig With A Bellyache' is, dare I say it, the strangest song MewithoutYou has ever crafted. But it's appeal is undeniable. Aarons' rhyming schemes on this song is so brilliant that it makes up for any unbearable weirdness this song may or may not contain.
The last three songs are probably the strongest of the entire album. 'Cattail Down' is one of the most phenomenal and downright enjoyable songs I have ever heard from anyone. The acoustic guitar driven verses bleed into possibly the most epic and catchy climax of the entire album. Which is pretty much the phrase 'You're everyone else' repeated several times with with some 'ba-ba-ba's" in the background. Simply beautiful. I believe 'The King Beetle...' to be their masterpiece. Their crowning achievement as a band. Almost as if everything they have done in their entire career has led up to this. A simple story of a beetle king curious of what a burning pile of leaves is. It leads to a striking revelation of God for the beetle and he is 'utterly changed into fire' at the end. I know...it sounds ridiculous, but it is one of the most emotional songs I have ever heard, and brings me to tears on certain occasions.
They chose to end the album with 'Allah, Allah, Allah'. Never has there been a more fitting ending for an album. With all of the crazy parables, metaphors and fables being told throughout the album, they decide to end it with the statement that God is in everything we see. Every blade of grass, every cloud in the sky and in all of us. There is not a more powerful statement that could be made by anyone or anything.
"It's All Crazy...' is not only the best album of the year, so far...it is easily the best album of the past five years, and the best MewithoutYou has ever done. Everything about it is quality. Everything about it is genuine. Everything about it is strictly MewithoutYou. It may all be crazy, but this album is certainly a remedy to the craziness that it also creates. I bestow upon this album my highest honor. Only three other albums have ever gotten a five star rating from from me.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 1, 2009, 2:49:51 PM PDT
Paul Drager says:
Great review. One gripe. The band's actual name is mewithoutYou. Lower case that there first letter. ;)
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 5, 2013, 11:03:58 PM PDT
Robert Jackson says:
Nice comment. One gripe. The band's name is STYLIZED mewithoutYou. Capitalization does not affect their actual name - not its pronunciation or meaning. It's just a stylistic thing.
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