Thursday, October 27, 2011

Múm - 2002 Finally we are no one

Band : Múm
Album : Finally we are no one
Release Year : 2002
Genre : Ambient | Electronic | Post-Rock | Experimental
Tracklist :
1. Sleep/Swim
2. Green Grass of Tunnel
3. We Have a Map of the Piano
4. Don't Be Afraid You Have Just Got Your Eyes Closed
5. Behind Two Hills. A Swimming Pool
6. K/Half Noise
7. Now There's That Fear Again
8. Farawat Swimmingpool
9. I Can't Feel My Hand Anymore, It's Alright, Sleep Tight
10. Finally We Are No One
11. The Land Between Solar Systems

When Mum first came on to the scene, they were immediately paired up beside fellow Icelandics, Sigur Ros, and people were waiting for the epic climaxes and glittery melodies they knew hailed from Iceland. Yet, once people really met Mum, they realized they were not all that similar, aside from each band being rather eccentrically unique. At first it was hard to tell what exactly Mum was going for, but with Finally We Are No One, the essence of Mum really comes out. The gentle vocals, the repetitive yet creative song structures, and the pretty melodies. Finally We Are No One will probably never be titled a masterpiece or widely remembered, however it is an album easy to fall in love with, and lovers will remember it forever.

The second track on the album, released as a sort of single before the album was out, is “Green Grass of Tunnel”. It’s a soaring melodic song with tender female vocals that is the perfect beginning to the beautiful journey that is Finally We Are No One. The conglomerate of instruments on the album are the first thing to warrant attention. The gentle introduction of horns, strings, synthesizers and even accordion cater to the listener, serenely satisfying. Piano is featured notably on "We Have A Map of the Piano", basically the same melody repeated endlessly; it showcases the beauty of a few notes played softly again and again. That song is a perfect example of all that the album has to offer; lovely melodies, soft voices, and in that particular song a beautiful accordion solo.

The wilting melody in “K/Half Noise” and gentle electronic orchestration and layering is so beautiful it feels organic, yet at the same time is very clearly computerized sounds. That picturesque blend is another facet on the album which Mum wins the listener over with. “Now There’s That Fear Again” is an example of the more conventional sound Mum acquires. The rhythm is comprised of clicks and pops, but you feel the soft traditional chord changes and melody, blending with the female vocals. It washes gently over you, allowing you to fully soak it up before it passes. “I Can’t Feel My Hand Anymore…” features accordion once again; it is one of my favorite tracks on the album, building steadily to the end and having a sort of relaxed climax. Then there is the title track, “Finally We Are No One”, which sounds like the soundtrack to a movie, comprising a sort of epic tension without being very tense at all. Finally we reach the beauty that is “The Land Between Solar Systems”. This piece takes captive the listener, tying you up and forcing you to swallow all of its magic. The gentle voice and simple melody tear me up inside with their soft prettiness. It’s the antithesis of violence yet my heart cries out for passion, brutality, and a tearing apart of everything. It’s the perfect conclusion to the record.

The earlier mention of the development of Mum into more of a 'typical band' is not to say that they have left behind all traces of their eccentric computerized filled glory. Several tracks still contain sound effects and noises and by no means does this album exemplify some mainstream form of Mum. However, the album is comparatively more accessible, being easy to enjoy on a slow day or as you fall asleep; the only real areas I can see a person being seriously turned off is by its potential boringness, due to the sparseness of melodic or vocal action. -Nate Sniffen


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