Mae
Singularity


3.0
good

Review

by Tyler Fisher EMERITUS
August 12th, 2007 | 39 replies | 19,039 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Not groundbreaking, but enjoyable poppy rock from the Virginian band's third effort.

Singularity- the quality of being one of a kind. Sorry, Mae, you picked the wrong album title. It is safe to say that this album is truly the antithesis of its album title. There is nothing new here. Mae fits right inside a niche perfectly crafted for radio hits and certain success in today’s teenage music scene. Yes, I said perfectly crafted. The correct album title here is certainly not Duplicity, implying that it is inferior to other works. Maybe Singularity fits in the matter that Mae are one of few that produce an enjoyable album with this sound.

The third full-length album from the band finds a more confident, sleeker sound. The production is flawless, always bringing out the important melodies and instruments when needed, ranging from standard guitar riffs to what really makes the album enjoyable, catchy synth and confident vocals, due to the band’s move from Tooth and Nail to Capitol. Opening track “Brink of Disaster” brings in bombastic synth and great vocal range from vocalist Dave Elkins, showing the best side of the album. While not the fastest, it feels one of the most aggressive songs and biggest songs on the album, all aided by the excellent production. The first half of the album continues along this line of sound, Jimmy Eat World on Futures with a synth, without the same success as the opening track. Even the lead single “Sometimes I Can’t Make It Alone” isn’t quite as catchy. Still, those songs are enjoyable listens, although not very original. “Sic Semper Tyrannis”, somewhat of a halfway point on the album, brings the catchiness back, with better guitars and fantastic vocal harmonies in the chorus singing “All hands on deck we’re going down.” The song title translates to “death to tyrants” and was Virginia’s motto as well as the Union’s 22nd regiment of colored troops in the Civil War. That regiment lost 217 men in the last year of the war, a connection to the song’s lyrics dealing with death.

The second half of the album changes sound, specifically in the guitar style. Delay pedals and chorus effects take place of the distortion. “Release Me” begins with just that guitar, a fitting introduction the sound. However, this sound capitulates on “Rocket”, which slowly brews down from the intensity on “Telescopes” into an awesome riff that might fit on a Failure album. The spacey atmosphere is mastered with vocal effects and heavy emphasis on the toms on the drum kit. Later in the song, the synth perfectly compliments the new guitar sound in a variation on the main melody. Overall, the second half of the album is much more sublime than the first, a bit more like their previous work. Here, it works because it is not a full album of the sound. Of the band’s softer side, album closer “Reflections” represents the band at its best. Splashy cymbals, reverberated guitars, and a creative bassline set the stage for some low key vocals. The song never climaxes, and instead tapers off into strange ambience.

There are two basic problems with Singularity. The first of which is a problem plaguing many mainstream bands these days, and that is unoriginality and lack of variety. While different sounds are represented on this album, they still get old fast. It makes for only a few standout tracks and makes the rest of the album rather tepid. The styles have all been done before, and done better. The lyrics are the worst part of the album, mostly vague and tiptoeing the line between cliché and original. Lines like “We’re chasing heaven as it fades into black” are great but then Elkins sings “I will not slow down until I make it back into your arms” and it throws the lyrics into a balance beam between greatness and mediocrity. The standouts from the album are fantastic, however, and it shows that Mae could extend their sound. Unfortunately, as with The Everglow, Singularity is a safe record, afraid to think outside the box. For now they’re content with fine-tuning the interior of it.

Stream: http://www.myspace.com/mae



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Comments:Add a Comment 
lunchforthesky
August 12th 2007



1039 Comments


You echoed my thoughts exactly. Only i'd put it at a 2/2.5 just because of personal bias.

Otisbum
August 12th 2007



1912 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great review, and I agree completely.

Oh, and put a link to the stream at the end of the review, since this hasn't even come out yet.

ToWhatEnd
August 12th 2007



3172 Comments


He's staff he doesn't have to do the steam (unless the rules changed again). I haven't heard all of this yet but shall pretty soon. Good review, can't wait to see them on tour with Motion City and Anberlin.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
August 12th 2007



2125 Comments


The rules haven't changed.

Nice review. Is this better than The Everglow? I actually liked that album a lot. Interested to see how they sound without the 'Tooth and Nail production' (you know how every band on Tooth and Nail seems to have the same production).

Abaddon2005
August 12th 2007



684 Comments


Is this better than The Everglow? I actually liked that album a lot.

Not even close unfortunately.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
August 12th 2007



2125 Comments


Too bad.

TheLibertyScene
August 13th 2007



46 Comments


whoa! is all i can say...

i'm listening to the stream now, i'm def going to buy this.

CatfishJones
August 13th 2007



24 Comments


mae has always been a solid band, and i wouldn't expect any less with this album. glad they moved away from tooth and nail.

jrowa001
August 15th 2007



8750 Comments


i used to like the everglow but got bored with it. i doubt ill get this

plane
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2007



6085 Comments


Single is pretty good. My sister is a huge Mae fan and his this preordered since it was announced so I'll just check it out from her.

Paiste.Fan.
August 16th 2007



19 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

its alright, not worth buying

plane
Staff Reviewer
August 16th 2007



6085 Comments


So far this is better than Everglow. I like the more straightforward rock than when they tampered with a bunch of ballads or experimenting. It's tighter if anything.

edit: I walk a lonely road. 8(This Message Edited On 08.16.07

MediocreAtBest
August 16th 2007



1473 Comments


i own destination: beautiful and am a big fan of the singer (name eludes me). beautiful stuff, probably picking this up sometime.

spacebeat3117
August 17th 2007



41 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This album is real good but, dosent compare to the everglow or destination beautiful. Rocket is a killer tune though.

blackmilk
August 18th 2007



584 Comments


Singularity? Sounds pretty deep.

descendents1
August 28th 2007



702 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This isn't even moderately enjoyable. It's not even catchy.

Abaddon2005
August 28th 2007



684 Comments


So far this is better than Everglow. I like the more straightforward rock than when they tampered with a bunch of ballads or experimenting. It's tighter if anything.

edit: I walk a lonely road. 8(


I don't really see how The Everglow is experimental. I think it's a lot more coherent and poppy. The band seemed much more focused on creating an album rather than just make a collection of songs, like this is.


plane
Staff Reviewer
August 28th 2007



6085 Comments


I'm not saying this is leaps and bounds better, only slightly because they don't seem more comfortable writing a collection of songs. My biggest problem with Everglow was its love for ballads and flash. Everglow has a few songs better than anything on this, but as a whole this one works better.

bdizfoshiz
September 4th 2007



273 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The Everglow was amazingly disappointing, this is a good comeback out of the darkness I think.

toolguitarkid
September 4th 2007



261 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

not as good as the everglow.
that was a really good cd compared to this.



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