Mutemath
Spotlight


3.0
good

Review

by Steven McMahan USER (49 Reviews)
April 10th, 2009 | 13 replies | 4,867 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Two great new songs and two forgettable remixes of the title track - get the former and don’t bother with the latter.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

It’s been about three years since alt-rockers Mute Math released their full-length debut, and the growing fanbase it’s helped accumulate has had close to nothing else to tide them over since then. Sure, there’s their first EP (half of which was integrated into the full-length), and most everyone who’s seen the “Typical” video enjoys it (most who don’t ignorantly claim it’s too much like “The Scientist”), but there comes a point when you want, no, you need a new album. How does your average band attempt to remedy this? Why, with an EP of course!

The Spotlight EP starts off (unsurprisingly) with the title track, an energetic main single candidate in the same vein as “Typical”. Based around an elegantly simple guitar part, sampled clapping and oh-so-catchy “ah ah ah”’s, it’s exactly the kind of song that record executives hope will boost album sales (note that I don’t necessarily mean this is a bad thing). Even though the initially catchy “ah ah ah”’s start to get annoying toward the end of the song, “Spotlight” nonetheless represents Mute Math in their most accessible, simple and fun state, without the experimentation that made their debut even more interesting. “Clockwork” keeps this energy going…for the most part. Although not as energetic and not an “obvious single”, the track represents another delightfully straightforward alt-rock song. Pretty good, but certainly nothing special.

And then the remixes. It seems all too rare that remixes tacked on to pad out a record end up working, and these are in no way exceptions. “Earlylight” doesn’t do much to ruin the original version of the song, but is still basically a gimmick. Son Lux’s version isn’t much better, in fact, it just might be worse. Essentially, his remix is the original with the vocals put through a filter for the first half and then a bastardization of the song after that. One honestly has to wonder if the band themselves actually approved of these.

And that’s pretty much all there is to say about the Spotlight EP. The two new original songs are quite good, but the remixes border on being painful at times. While they’re probably not enough to tide us over until a full album arrives, “Spotlight” and “Clockwork” are nonetheless worth $1.99 on whatever online music store you prefer to use, so to definitely get them if you like the band. Just make sure to skip the rest.

Ratings:
Spotlight – 3.5/5
Clockwork – 3.5/5
Earlylight – 2.5/5
Spotlight (Son Lux remix) – 2.5/5



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user ratings (28)
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great

Comments:Add a Comment 
ninjuice
April 10th 2009



6760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I know it's pretty short and it's basically a TBT in disguise, but I don't know any other way to do this without going into lengthy descriptions of the songs. I'll probably add a bit more about the remixes but there's little to say besides "they're lame".

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2009



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I have the same problem with reviewing EPs Steve... I just don't see any way around it.

I'll be honest; I have never heard this band, but they at least sound a little interesting. Which bands would you compare them to?

gaslightanthem
April 10th 2009



5209 Comments


i don't like this band at all, i just find them dull

ninjuice
April 10th 2009



6760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Davey, I've read that the vocalist sounds a lot like either Sting or Peter Gabriel. As for the music, it could be compared to poppier Muse, early Radiohead (back when they used guitars more), The Killers or perhaps even Coldplay. The guitars have a(n) "[The] Edge" sound to them as well. (Perhaps I should put all this in the review!)
"Typical" should give you the basic idea (definitely watch the video, it's really really cool) but several of their other songs have enough experimentation to make them more interesting. One has to worry if their next album will continue that or just be 12 versions of "Typical".

roofi
April 10th 2009



959 Comments


spotlight's a pretty good song. this band does some really cool things but they haven't really put it all together yet. interested in seeing how the full-length turns out

Chewie
April 10th 2009



4531 Comments


Their debut is really great. And this band is certainly worth hearing. I'm really anticipating their new album

Waior
April 10th 2009



11451 Comments


These guys are in the same vain as Saosin, riding on the success of their debut for way too long without ever releasing anything else.

Chewie
April 10th 2009



4531 Comments


well just you wait for the next album then

Waior
April 10th 2009



11451 Comments


Well, I am. And have been. For a long time.

Chewie
April 10th 2009



4531 Comments


well fyi, they are almost done writing their second album and are planning on a summer release.

Klekticist
May 27th 2009



1259 Comments


if its not super awesome, their career's done for.

really. waiting three years between albums, with a great debut, and a shitty second one...

but hopefully, itll be awesome

ninjuice
May 27th 2009



6760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

30 Seconds to Mars did the same basically and they got pretty popular.

I need to stop comparing the two, hopefully I don't jinx these guys or something.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 31st 2014



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is more a single than an EP. At least the 2 remixes of ‘Spotlight’ are significantly different from the original version. The song itself is naggingly catchy, even if you don’t want it to stick in your mind. ‘Clockwork’ is above-average & I’m surprised it didn’t make the standard edition of 2nd LP ‘Armistice’.



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