mewithoutYou
It's All Crazy! It's All False! It's all


4.5
superb

Review

by Channing Freeman STAFF
May 18th, 2009 | 637 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Learn the words, sing along, and be happy. Seriously.

Of all the horrible things being said about the new mewithoutYou album It's all crazy! it's all false! it's all a dream! it's alright, the worst is that it is "uninspired." The word gets thrown around a lot by music critics and it often describes an album that the critic finds either too similar to other bands' music or too similar to the band's earlier albums. Since this album is neither, I take it that "uninspired" refers to the lack of energy (re: distortion, shouting) in the tracks. What people seem to have difficulty realizing is that while It's all crazy! does lack the aesthetic energy of their earlier albums, it has an underlying creative energy that feels stronger than ever. And this is mewithoutYou's most inspired album yet.

Granted, if you aren't a Christian, you might not like their inspiration. The album is intensely spiritual and the description of "Christian campfire songs" is actually pretty accurate, but that's not a bad thing. "the Angel of Death came to David's room" and "Allah, Allah, Allah" especially fit that specification. But there's a silver lining to every cloud; instead of seeing these songs as freaky cult tunes, look at them as joyful anthems. Just start singing along, because that's clearly what the band wants you to do. Opener "every thought a Thought of You" is an easy one, with a simple melody and an incredibly catchy interplay between guitar and bass. And if you can't help pining for hints of mewithoutYou's former albums, you can even sing along to "bullet to Binary (pt. two)," with its ending chants of "All the time, everyone, everywhere, everything" backed by slow-burning chords.

The songs are all fairly subdued except the aforementioned "bullet to Binary (pt. two)," which sees Aaron Weiss throwing in a bit of his former vocal aggression, but even that sounds more like a pleading prayer now than it ever did before when he yells "Let us die! Let us die!" There isn't much distortion like we heard in "O Porcupine," or heavy riffs like we heard in "Silencer," but it's led to a more inventive sound for mewithoutYou. Where a few songs on former albums would have a harp section or some interesting percussive effects, It's all crazy! has parts like that in nearly every song for extended periods of time. Instead of inhabiting the "colored spider" interludes on Brother, Sister, the accordion now plays a major part in songs like "Fig with a Bellyache" and "goodbye, I!" "the Fox, the Crow, and the Cookie" has tubas and violins, and "Cattail Down" has an excellent horn section in the middle of the song. Moments like that are found all throughout the album, and although this takes the spotlight off of Weiss' vocals, It's all crazy! feels like more of a well-rounded album with the instruments taking a much larger role.

The best track is "the King Beetle on a Coconut Estate," which begins as a quiet acoustic song with harp and violin flourishes and ends as a sweeping epic that combines all of the elements used throughout the song, horn and string sections all. And Weiss is at his best lyrically on this album, mastering symbolism and metaphor to convey doubt and faith and love. "Allah, Allah, Allah" is a jubilant, lighthearted, clap-your-hands-and-join-in song, and it could be heard around a campfire and it is not ashamed of it. mewithoutYou have embraced the things that made them unique and made an entire album out of them, and to call it uninspired is preposterous. From the mood-changing Arabic chanting in "every thought a Thought of You" to the exultant end of "the Fox, the Crow, and the Cookie" to Weiss' earnest vocals in "Timothy Hay," It's all crazy! is an album that truly shows mewithoutYou's genius. The only negative thing I can think of is that it isn't much of a grower; if you don't like it when you first hear it then you probably never will, but it's your loss.

Essentially, It's all crazy! it's all false! it's all a dream! it's alright. seems like the album that mewithoutYou have always wanted to make. Casual fans of their other albums would always say things like, "Oh mewithoutYou are so quirky!," but those quirks only made up a fraction of their music. This album basically sees those quirks taking over the songs and the result is a joyous, triumphant, inspired piece of work. Learn the words, sing along, and be happy. Seriously.



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user ratings (775)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
May 18th 2009


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

i hate adam downer is basically what this review says

Tyler
Emeritus
May 18th 2009


7926 Comments


wish you would italicize the album title because i keep accidentally reading it as a literal part of ur phrazing

JokesorInsults
May 18th 2009


244 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

album is r00l.This Message Edited On 05.18.09

marksellsuswallets
May 18th 2009


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Dear God do I love this album...

Waior
May 18th 2009


11452 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Pretty good review, I'm soon looking to try out mewithoutYou. I will, however, second Cocaine's request to italicize the album name.

JokesorInsults
May 18th 2009


244 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

probably the most underrated song on this album is Cattail Down; I hated it at first, but it really, really grew into me.

Also, whoo, I got the journal/cd pre-ordered, better get here soon.

marksellsuswallets
May 18th 2009


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

^Mine got here today...journal is not what I was expecting at all but it's interesting to say the least...

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
May 18th 2009


15738 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i hate adam downer is basically what this review says


word I picked up on that love you too

Digging: Ricky Eat Acid - Three Love Songs

gaslightanthem
May 18th 2009


5209 Comments


review is very post-downer

i didn't like this at first, mainly i think because i was so disappointed that it isn't of the quality of their other albums, particularly 'brother, sister'

but it's grown on me and tbh it's still pretty great

iarescientists
May 18th 2009


5863 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

still haven't listened to this yet

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
May 18th 2009


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

it is just as good but in a different way

AlexTM510
May 18th 2009


1401 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Nice review chan...def. does the album justice.


Probably will be my fav. album this year....unless something more powerfully eccentric comes through

gaslightanthem
May 18th 2009


5209 Comments


it is just as good but in a different way


a way that doesn't call out to me as strongly


joshuatree
Emeritus
May 18th 2009


3742 Comments


listening to this again now, didn't like it all at first but didn't really give it much of a chance tbh

great review

thediamondcanopy
May 18th 2009


510 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I haven't listened to this yet, but I own all their other albums and notice that a lot of the criticism coming at this album is focused on how much different it is from their previous efforts. I really love their spoken word post hardcore sound, yet I could see myself listening to this, just based on description.

It's surprising no one had taken the "Fall Out Boy" approach to this and complained about how they've sold out to Jesus...

Apparently, Aaron is writing from his heart, and if it's so hard for the "fans" to accept his change in aesthetic, so be it. I'm sure I will thoroughly enjoy this album.

Very nice job on the review, btw.

Digging: Free Throw - Those Days Are Gone

AlexTM510
May 18th 2009


1401 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

The King Beetle is total win btw.

And yea I plan on seeing these guys in July...heard their incredible live so im quite excited

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
May 18th 2009


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

a way that doesn't call out to me as strongly


bitch get ur mind right

AggravatedYeti
May 18th 2009


7685 Comments


This band is so, just ok,.
This review tho, Channing, is pretty damn good.
I'll grab this LP from a crazy bitch I know that *loves* these guys and see what I think, you've convinced me.
Also -- Italicize fool!

gaslightanthem
May 18th 2009


5209 Comments


you r right i gotta get it sorted

was gonna listen to this again right now but have decided to listen to the bachelor again

will stop spamming your review now but am slightly nearly full out gay for you bb

Knott-
Emeritus
May 18th 2009


10197 Comments


i keep trying to give this another shot then getting bored
i think that says everything



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