Review Summary: An extremely well-made album with a sense of current not seen in many places. Definately an album for the adventurous listener and searching soul.
This is a CD I started listening to around christmas of '05 while I was staying up late at my grandparents house reading Dan Brown's Deception Point, which meshs nicely with the personable yet almost mechanized sound of most of the songs, excluding Modern World, a constant throb against industrialization. Honestly, when put in the simplest of terms, this album can only be categorized as the cleanest break from apathy into broad energy of emotion that the indie scene has seen in a while. I would put forward that the reason so many found both the album and the band so intriguing is that while some sounds resemble The Arcade Fire and Modest Mouse, most of Wolf Parade's style is uniquely their own. Personally, I don't find that much similarity in either, but that is not me to judge wholly, though the entire truth is that it is related to both and so will definately help fans of the latter mentioned bands jump into a new genre of indie.
First off, Apologies to the Queen Mary is an album that must transcend the seemlingly inescapable ritual of skipping most songs to listen to certain tracks. While there are some very distinguishable songs, (mine are Modern World, Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts, and I'll Believe in Anything), this is one CD that must be listened from start to finish. The flow of changes is melded together better than any other listing that I can think of. One almost gets the feeling that the entire album is one continuous song with periodic changes.
The album starts with You Are a Runner and I am My Father's Son, which gives the first penetrating beat of a deeply penetrating album. I'm not sure I'd categorize it as a true song but a chant that pumps the listener up for what is to come. And what is to come is Modern World, a wonderfully beated, like all the songs, lyrical abrasion to contemporary ideals. It has one of the most infectious melodies during the middle of it. Very cool. I can't tell you how many times I've just riffed the melody for 30 minutes straight, but we're not all that obsessive.
After the "birth" into the record, comes what I can only call the forward middle, containing Grounds for Divorce through Same Ghost Every Night. These songs are ones that more than others harbor tweaks in riffs and lyrics that definately keep the listener pleased for many different playings. The later middle hosts many of the tagline songs that people know it for, including my two favorite, Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts and I'll Believe in Anything. Followed up by It's a Curse which reminds my a lot of Oingo Boingo's greatest.
The finale is one that doesn't shock or awe to the audience but slowly ebbs them back into normality, which leaves a nice comforting feeling after it finishes (not because of relief, but because of a sense of fulfillment).
All that can really be said is that if you are someone who is breaking from a favorite style of music into a realm in which you're searching for something new with meaning and an odd style, this might be your album. If you're not, then maybe this isn't your choice, but rather one that might scare you away. Personally, I was caught at the right time, like so many others, and was blown away by it. I only give it a five though because it literally took up my ears and was more enlightening than anything at the time. I still hold it as one of the best albums I own and one of the best bands that I follow, whether or not they are the Montreal scene, which I do think blossoms some very good music. If left to the world of talent and progress I think the canadien band would be starting its invasion, which definately started for me with the Bare Naked Ladies.
The albums and authors of the related fields are judged not by a similar sound but similar field and feeling.