Maps & Atlases
You and Me and the Mountain


4.0
excellent

Review

by Ryan Flatley EMERITUS
July 15th, 2008 | 46 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Maps and Atlases are back with a new, lovable sound.

Every so often, for better or worse, bands decide to revamp their style. Whether they are looking to mature their sound or trying to make a statement. Take The Sound of Animals Fighting; their shockingly good debut release, Tiger And The Duke, was placed more in the progressive/post-hardcore genre, yet today they are reaching (too hard at times) for a more experimental sound (and you be the judge of how that worked out). Now, remember the first Maps and Atlases release, Tree, Swallows, Houses? It was a spastic collection of progressive/ indie-rock with a touch of a sound that was so natural and joyous. This time around, Maps and Atlases delve into a different sound that contains less finger-tapping wankery, and more of an earthy elegance. You Me And The Mountain doesn't exactly change Maps and Atlases' genre, but it definitely turns heads compared to a listen of Tree, Swallows, Houses.

The first recognizable detail to You Me and The Mountain is that it is rather tame. The riffs are digestible and the pace is adequate. Also, what seems to be the underlying theme is perfecting harmonies. From "Witch" to the fifth and final song, "Ted Zancha," the harmonies are something to rave about. "Witch" begins advantageously behind clicking percussion while the Peter Frampton-esque vocal/guitar effect is utilized. Descending scales run a muck while holding that true-natured Maps and Atlases technicality. But as I mentioned before, this album rarely takes form to songs like "Every Place is a House," and instead simply takes off the edge that it once had. Personally, I think it's an improvement that they, in essence, stripped down their style into something new and fresh.

From their first work, we knew Maps and Atlases were weird and quirky and "You Me And The Mountain" highlights that style with its sporadic tendencies. Vocally, the same odd vocals gloss over the album. While you can tell that Dave Davidson's voice has progressed, the change is very subtle. But perhaps the biggest change is in the percussion work. Tambourines, vibraphones, snare clicks, and tempo blocks among other instruments add an unusual, yet refreshing sound. It is the kind of feeling that makes "Daily News" and "Ted Zancha" so brilliant. "Ted Zancha" is a defining closing song. Between the impeccable bass riffs, beautiful tapping guitar riffs, and gorgeous vocal work, it's hard not to be impressed by the short-lived album's closer. "Ted Zancha" is a highlight reel from Maps and Atlases complete collection and specifically You Me And The Mountain. The closing minute of "Ted Zancha" is filled with vocal harmonies to make you blush and a bridge to make you wet your britches. Superfluous drumming leads the scale-oriented bridge into a peaceful, serene silence.

Was Maps and Atlases change of style a change for the better? Well it is awfully hard to say no. You Me And The Mountain glows with maturity and growth in addition to consistent musicianship. Their deletion of constant meticulous riffs paid off for the better. Instead of a rather overwhelming feel, You Me And The Mountain is a steadily paced gem. The only real issues from my point of view are the uninspired lyrics and occasional moments that the songs sound similar to one another. Even so, I can't stop listening to this jovial album. For now, Maps and Atlases have pushed their boundaries once again and expanded deeper into an unexplored style. Until their next album, I would say You Me And The Mountain will certainly be played on a weekly basis. It's that addicting.



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user ratings (226)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
iarescientists
July 15th 2008


5863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

finally

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
July 15th 2008


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I know, right? Well it's released digitally tomorrow.

oh hey, songs http://www.myspace.com/mapsandatlasesThis Message Edited On 07.15.08

iarescientists
July 15th 2008


5863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

what are you talking about

it's been on itunes since the first

plane
Staff Reviewer
July 15th 2008


6094 Comments


yea

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
July 15th 2008


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Woops, I looked at their blog before and it said this
[quote=blog]YOU AND ME AND THE MOUNTAIN
the new 5 Song EP from Maps & Atlases was mastered today!
Sargent House will be releasing this beauty. Available digitally everywhere by July16th and on CD with limited edition packaging on their Summer Tours with mewithoutyou, and RX Bandits + Portugal. The Man

this message was posted by sargent house.[/quote]

plane
Staff Reviewer
July 15th 2008


6094 Comments


we do not condone illegal file sharing here at sputnikmusic

Tyler
Emeritus
July 15th 2008


7926 Comments


I put this on, and I was all, "whoa, they dont suck anymore". Still gets old pretty fast but this is a really solid album in spite of that. Some of the vocals and hooks kind of sound like they're biting TV on the Radio but I'm sure I'm the only guy who thinks that.
Anyways, my point is their last EP was awful but this one is good. I was pleasantly surprised.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
July 15th 2008


3995 Comments


I'm not digging this as much as the previous but it still has some good tracks.

astrel
July 15th 2008


2614 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The EP is really same-y and kinda hard to get through tbh. That being said, 'Witch', and 'You and Me and the Mountain' are epically good This Message Edited On 07.15.08

Digging: Jessie Ware - Tough Love

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
July 16th 2008


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

This EP rules.

Intransit
July 16th 2008


2797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

To me, this is clearly better than Trees, Swallows, Houses. Am I missing something?

JumpTheF**kUp
July 16th 2008


2710 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This EP rules.

Yeah this is really good.

natey
July 16th 2008


4170 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The band is maturing; I expect more fucktastic music to come.

Neoteric
July 16th 2008


3243 Comments



not illegal if your just giving it a listen. only illegal if you burn a copy or sell it.
do you understand copyright law at all?

Tyler
Emeritus
July 16th 2008


7926 Comments


Downloading music isn't illegal. It's only illegal if you're sharing it or using it commercially.

Iai
Emeritus
July 16th 2008


3553 Comments


Technically it's not illegal to download music. However, it IS illegal to share even one byte of it with someone else (so torrenting is out the window), if you keep the files you've downloaded for more than 24 hours, and if you can't prove that you only owned the files for 24 hours.

So in other words, if somebody wants to fine you for it, they'll find a way.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
July 16th 2008


2125 Comments


I don't get the big deal with this band at all.

Catchthe22
July 16th 2008


95 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The video of them playing "Artichokes" is awesome. Especially watching the drummer.

HighandDriving
July 16th 2008


3288 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Not as good as Tree, Swallows, Houses IMO.

Once they downplay their technicality I lost interest, they're just kind of boring on this release.

Edit:Boring compared to their last release.This Message Edited On 07.16.08

The Jungler
July 16th 2008


4827 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think this is a bit better than Trees, Swallows, Houses, but both are obv awesome. I really like the cover art for this too, for whatever that's worth.
Great review, too.



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