Thursday, 29 May 2008

Mystery Jets - Twenty One (Album)

I am admittedly a little late picking up a copy of 'Twenty One' but the real crime is that i wasn't intending to buy it at all until i heard 'Hideaway' properly for the first time. My goodness that's a good track, a much heavier approach compared to Mystery Jets' earlier songs, i've always appreciated their quirky charm but never enough to want to own their first album. This CD might be a deal less quirky but certainly makes up for it in the charm department, 'Flakes' is a good example, slow building sorrowful sounding beauty, Blaine's voice has dramatically improved and is used to heart wrenching effect. The first single 'Young Love' incorporates Laura Marling's stunning soft vocals, i know nothing of the girl but i think i'm in love with her already, no wonder there's been so much hype surrounding her.

The last time I saw Mystery Jets live they were playing with their Dad and banging on a home-made drum kit of saucepans and dustbin lids, it sounds like they've done away with these novelties and benefit a great deal for having done so. They've added synths and a number of other instruments including violin and saxophone to their sound and have created a much richer, deeper collection of tracks. I'm surprised i've made it this far into the post without mentioning 'Two Doors Down' which is the new single and reason alone to buy the album, it begins in typical MJ style until the chorus when the bass, guitar, drums and vocal are joined by a tinkling, twinkling, sparkling melody that has been ripped straight from the 80's in the most complimentary way possible and must have been played on tiny dangling icicles hanging from the den that they made a couple of years ago. There isn't a weak track on the album and the final song 'Behind The Bunhouse' is a nice finisher harking back to their more DIY sounding tracks with their token haphazard drum beat played on household objects and frantic youthful vocal harmonies.

For the second post in a row Erol Alkan is responsible for production and if he is the cause of this much more polished sounding band then he deserves a round of applause because the Mystery Jets have certainly bloomed into a rather delicious sounding flower. I hear it said a lot but i would be surprised if 'Twenty One' wasn't on a lot of people's end of year lists along with 'Two Doors Down' in the single category. This is conclusive evidence that people (like me) who whine that indie music is getting generic and boring are plain wrong and just need to look a little harder.

Mystery Jets - Two Doors Down

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