Mono
You Are There


5.0
classic

Review

by Shattered_Future USER (50 Reviews)
June 25th, 2008 | 13 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Sonic bliss.

Post rock and pretentiousness usually go hand in hand with one another. Hell, Efrim Menuck of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and 30 million side projects makes a living out of being an arrogant snob. Granted, his band was responsible for some of the best music to come out of the post rock movement, but nonetheless, the pretentiousness is still there. The long song titles and meandering structures make it somewhat of a chore to digest to the uninitiated, but those who make it through are graced with some of the most moving music ever recorded.

Mono, on the other hand, were never bogged down in their own self-righteousness. The Japanese quartet just released albums and toured “to meet the crowd,” in the words of guitarist Takaakira Goto. Mono never garnered the attention of any refutable people, and never really became all that famous. They just keep on recording and keep on playing.

In 2006, Mono released You Are There, their fourth full length album, and people started paying more attention.

What makes You Are There such a brilliant album? In terms of structure, you can’t really get more unoriginal. All of the songs start quiet and minimalist, and slowly build up throughout, layering more and more guitars until it’s as if one is swimming in a sea of reverb and delay laden guitars and pounding drums. No, what makes this album one of the best is Goto’s keen ear for composing. More so than any other post rock album, the music connects with the listener in a way that actually stimulates emotion. The beautiful arrangements, sometimes backed up with strings and piano, draw the listener in. No vocals, no samples, no arrogant ideologies, no hidden agenda. Just the beauty of the music.

Mono’s music is based upon guitar harmonies and layering. Lots and lots and lots of layering. Mono gets that post rock “wall of sound” trademark into their music, but again, there’s a fine level of polish and perfection on their music. This album doesn’t have a bad riff or an out of place sounding guitar part anywhere. Everything is carefully put into its right place to bring out the most in the music. Much more so than their previous albums, You Are There replaces intensity and eerieness with beauty. Not that this album isn’t intense, but it’s all done with a much...”nicer,” so to speak, feel. The album doesn’t vary in composition style at all, but when the base formula is this good, it doesn’t really matter.

Mono’s goal isn’t to revolutionize the post rock sound. It’s simply to take the existing formula and make it the best that it can be.

And with You Are There, they’ve succeeded.

Recommended Tracks:
Are You There?
Moonlight




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user ratings (533)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
MrUnderstanding18 (5)
Japanese post-rockers more than 'deliver the goods' - they unleash a classic....

Adam Turner-Heffer (5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
June 25th 2008


16049 Comments


Sounds good. I've found I'm picky about my post rock (really only liking God is an Astronaut and Caspian) so hopefully this will expand my horizons a bit.

Digging: Skrew - Universal Immolation

BallsToTheWall
June 25th 2008


44617 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album is amazing. Nice review.

Digging: Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
June 25th 2008


15743 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album's so great. The first song is perfect.

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

SpinLightTwo
June 25th 2008


1043 Comments


good review, but if you could write more it be even better. pos'd

this record is a grower but it's real good.

cometuesday
June 25th 2008


959 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Of all the post rock in my library, Mono has to be the most powerful.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
June 25th 2008


17222 Comments


great review. This album is beautiful

Shattered_Future
June 25th 2008


1540 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I don't really know what else to write. There's not really a standout track, and I feel like I did a good job describing the sound. The album can be summed up in just a few words.

Kiran
Emeritus
June 25th 2008


6001 Comments


Yeah, what everyone else said. Album rules.

Minus The Flair
Emeritus
June 25th 2008


862 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Was listening to this today, I swear it gets better every time I hear it, but I do find it tedious. Moonlight is just incredible.This Message Edited On 06.25.08

SpinLightTwo
June 25th 2008


1043 Comments


Shattered: I didn't mean to sound like a dick or anything because you do write well - just thought it could maybe be a little longer.This Message Edited On 06.25.08

Doppelganger
June 25th 2008


3124 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah this album is incredible, very nearly a 5 for me also

Shattered_Future
June 26th 2008


1540 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

[QUOTE=SpinLightTwo]Shattered: I didn't mean to sound like a dick or anything because you do write well - just thought it could maybe be a little longer.[/QUOTE]

Fair enough.

It's really hard to state the awesomeness of this record in words. It's more of an aural thing. You just listen to it and think..."wow".

fireaboveicebelow
June 26th 2008


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I've listened to this about 132 times so far, and I just might bump this to a 5



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