Mae is the kind of band that can both woo the hearts of sensitive
listeners with their love-aching lyrics while also satisfying the hunger
of the alternative rocker. Guitars soar throughout each of their full-length
albums as well as pitch-on vocals and an unrelenting amount of precise
emotion. Now what does "precise emotion" mean? Basically,
the band is able to skirt the line between too soft and too hard and
comfortably exist in the medium between.
With Singularity, the band doesn't try to reinvent themselves.
It isn't necessarily a step into unpredictability and yes, it does sound
quite reminiscent of the band's other albums. In most cases, this kind
of criticism would be detrimental to an album. However, with Singularity,
Mae produce some of the finest tracks of their history, and regardless
of whether or not their sound has evolved at all, this album is definitely
the highlight of their musical career.
Their place in modern rock is a dangerous one. They risk being labeled
as too whiny, or dare I say, "emo". The lyrics on "Release
Me" and the addictive "Crazy 8s" put them at the frontline
of emotional lyricism. The binary, though, would seem to threaten the
fragile hearts of the acoustic love-song lovers with drumbeats and ricocheting
guitars that could tear right through the protective foam of an unsuspecting
listener's headphones. "Sometimes I Can't Make It On My Own"
rattles and rolls more than any of their former tracks ever have. And
you would think that the extremes of the soft rock vs. hard rock battle
that are featured on this record would alienate listeners, but they
don't. And that is the magic of Mae. Combining the instrumentals of
the modern rock world with well-written lyrics leaves Mae falling into
a rare category that most artists don't fit into: they're just a plain
But enough boasting about the majesty of the musical saviors, Mae.
Back to their album. Singularity will give, like mentioned before,
the same well-constructed set of songs that rock while still remaining
thought-provoking. If anything is different, it seems that Mae, this
time around, is ready to break into the mainstream. Always staying surprisingly
under the radar of popular radio or MTV (whether that be intentional
or not), their fame came largely from the supportive press of alternative
music magazines, continuous touring and the musical melting pot that
is MySpace. But with songs as addictive and accessible as "On Top"
and "Rocket", it seems that they are ready to take the leap
into widespread popularity.
If they catch, only the best wishes come from this humble critic. If
they don't, then something must seriously be wrong with the direction
of popular music and the perception of what talent is. Regardless of
how many copies it sells though, any fans of alternative rock (or whatever
"emo" is considered nowadays) will lap up Singularity
with such ferocity that no other recent release will come close to taking
its place in the CD player.
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