Mew
No More Stories


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mike Stagno EMERITUS
August 22nd, 2009 | 451 replies | 35,884 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Mew releases one of the year's most endearing records to date.

There's something about Mew. Listen to any of their most recent albums, from 2003's Frengers to their latest, perhaps most ridiculously titled record, No More Stories/Are Told Today/I'm Sorry/They Washed Away//No More Stories/The World Is Grey/I'm Tired/Let's Wash Away, and the band gives off an ambitious notion matched by only the most pretentious experimental artists. Listen again and you get a far different impression, for just as Mew straddles pretentious, artsy ***, they also whole heartedly embrace enough pop sensibilities to make them readily accessible. And yet, they balance the two styles without compromising either. Of course, Mew is hardly the first band to bring together alterna-pop and pretentious, artsy ***, but the point is that they're damn good at what they do.

On previous albums, one of Mew's greatest strengths has been their versatility. Although No More Stories… does little to change this, the record sees the band move away from the straightforward rock edge of Frengers in favour of a dream-pop sound. Indeed, the bouncy riffs of singles "Introducing Palace Players" and "Repeaterbeater" are closest that No More Stories… come to genuine rock songs, with the later being among the catchiest tracks Mew has done to date. But otherwise, Mew focuses on a more serene, laid back song structures. There's no shortage in swirly, atmospheric effects, and though No More Stories… isn't as connected as And the Glass Handed Kites, it flows as seamlessly as you could ask for. From the exotic effects of "Hawaii" to the guitar/piano interplay in "Silas the Magic Car", No More Stories… is a rather light-hearted affair that is easy to get lost in. It's a fairly nice contrast after the purposefully difficult And the Glass Handed Kites, admittedly enough.

As much as I'm going on about how easy listening No More Stories… is, it does feature subtle complexities that make further listening extremely rewarding. Much of the album incorporates intricate nuances which add to the album's already rich sound. For instance, the multifaceted "Cartoons and Macramé Wounds", sees bursts of shimmering guitar, loud, distorted bass grooves, and even soft backup singing weave its way through the seven minute piece; one which opens as an uplifting pop song, but effortlessly progresses into a sparse track carried by Jonas Bjerre's odd singing style and light piano, before building up in rousing a crescendo of layered sound. As far as individual performances go, Silas Graae's drumming might not be as instantly gratifying as the efforts of his band mates, but he absolutely rips up "Vaccine" and "Tricks of the Trade", and is perhaps the most consistently excellent in his respective role over the course of No More Stories…

While I wouldn't go as far as to claim that No More Stories… is Mew's best album, it's pretty close. But it's certainly one of their most complete records, if not their most complete outright; without recycling ideas from Frengers or And the Glass Handed Kites, Mew manages to combine elements from both records while remaining as unique and diverse as they've always been. Simply put, No More Stories… is accessible without being overbearingly so, experimental without sounding too abstract and ridiculous, and most importantly, one of the year's most endearing records.



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user ratings (490)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Jacob R. STAFF (5)
An anthem for the broken-hearted....

Eric (4.5)
Mew have reached their full potential. Listening to this it's hard to imagine any other band creatin...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Mikesn
Emeritus
August 22nd 2009



3709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

streaming from their myspace
http://www.myspace.com/mew

JacobsLadder
August 22nd 2009



554 Comments


This looks amazing ATGHK was awesome so I wil hear this I also need to listen to Frengers.

scyther
August 22nd 2009



1606 Comments


Good review, I'll listen to this later I hope it's as awesome as you say.

fireaboveicebelow
August 22nd 2009



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this was surprisingly ok, but they're still trying too hard to be something new to me just like the last album

Kiran
Emeritus
August 22nd 2009



6000 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Tied favourite of the year with Animal Collective

Digging: Spoon - They Want My Soul

Skyler
August 22nd 2009



1084 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This grew on me the more I listened to it.

Yotimi
August 22nd 2009



6443 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Review didn't even mention not only the album's best track but the year's best song "Sometimes Life isn't Easy". Absolutely amazing. Beats out "My Girls" for song of the year for me. Also, Album is best so far this year.

TheGreatD17
August 22nd 2009



1141 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is way more consistent than ATGHK, which makes it a little bit better. It's in my top 5 of the year for now, but it's nowhere near being an instant classic.

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
August 22nd 2009



7021 Comments


Good review, I'll listen to this later I hope it's as awesome as you say.

I doubt you'll like this Scyther, it is sort of comparable to Veckatimest by Grizzly Bear.


Digging: Shabazz Palaces - Lese Majesty

scyther
August 22nd 2009



1606 Comments


Maybe not, cause I really didn't enjoy anything they did after Frengers but that is one of my favorite pop records ever so I keep listening regardless.

Yotimi
August 22nd 2009



6443 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Really? I don't hear that at all.

Yotimi
August 22nd 2009



6443 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

that was at Lucidity

kingsoby1
Emeritus
August 22nd 2009



4940 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Don't like this as much as frengers

fireaboveicebelow
August 22nd 2009



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

pretty much

scyther
August 22nd 2009



1606 Comments


Music is rarely better than Frengers.

Altmer
August 22nd 2009



5652 Comments


so frengers is the place to start with this band, then? i saw them live and they were dreamy but not listened properly

(opened for nine inch nails)

Sound
August 22nd 2009



3887 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nah i'd say get and the glasshanded kites (judging by your taste) first and then frengers

i'm on the fence with this one as one part of me wants to just go out and buy it but i've heard it's supposed be 'happier and dancier' than their last

thebhoy
Emeritus
August 22nd 2009



4459 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

so, I need this.

TheGreatD17
August 22nd 2009



1141 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i'm on the fence with this one as one part of me wants to just go out and buy it but i've heard it's supposed be 'happier and dancier' than their last

I recommend you read this review's first comment.

Mikesn
Emeritus
August 22nd 2009



3709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

so frengers is the place to start with this band, then? i saw them live and they were dreamy but not listened properly
Frengers is their most straightforward and their best, but you can't really go wrong with any of their latest three.



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