Mum
Sing Along To Songs You Don't Know


4.5
superb

Review

by A_Guy USER (2 Reviews)
December 30th, 2009 | 5 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Sing Along To Songs You Don't Know shows múm building and improving on their ever-changing sound. It is a memorable album that is a fine addition to their diverse discography.

Sing Along To Songs You Don't Know is the fifth release by Icelandic veterans múm. Their discography can be nicely split into two categories, their albums the twin sisters Gyða and Krist*n Anna Valtýsdóttir categorized by their soft, childlike vocals, and the albums after their departure, including this and their previous release Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy. It almost seems that these two phases the group are really two different bands, but in reality they are just characteristic of a group constantly pushing the limits of their sound. Sing Along To Songs You Don't Know shows múm expanding musically while retaining elements of their previous works.

The most striking difference in their most recent releases are the vocals. Örvar Þóreyjarson Smárason , Hildur Guðnadóttir, and Sigurlaug G*sladóttir share the role of singer as well as playing a multitude of other instruments. The differing tones of their voices compliment each other and add depth to the songs. Sing Along To Songs You Don't Know features a greater mix of solo and ensemble singing than on Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy. Hildur and Sigurlaug's voices are highlighted on songs like If I Were A Fish while Örvar is featured on songs such as Illuminated. Almost every track features all three vocalists performing simultaneously at some point, and through their complimentary vocals it is apparent that these musicians are confident and comfortable singing with each other.

Another distinctive quality of múm's later work is a movement away from music dominated by electronic sounds. Sing Along To Songs You Don't Know features prominent use of trumpets, cello and violin played by Hildur, melodicas, vibraphones, ukuleles, guitars, and many other instruments. The electronic element is not altogether abandoned however. Most notably the drums, both live and sampled, retain that electronic aspect. An example of this is the balance between the upbeat electronic drums and slower string and vocal parts in the track “The Smell Of Today Is Sweet Like Breast Milk In The Wind.” In most instances, they achieve a compatible balance between the live and digital elements.

The album is not entirely without its faults however. The most prevalent fault with the album is track times that are too long. While not an inherently negative aspect of songs, múm does not include enough themes and changes in their songs to have them continue for up to five minutes, as many of the tracks do. Their previous albums, having a more electronic feel, typically introduced a theme and built on it, adding new harmonies and rhythms along the way. However, the style of the songs on this album are less progressive in that sense, once a section is introduced, it is not built upon as much. This leads to songs with repetitive structures and themes that stretch on for just a bit too long.

This being said, Sing Along To Songs You Don't Know features some of múm's most powerful and catchy songs. If I Were A Fish is a fantastic album opener that translates the passion of their live performances onto a recording. Like many of the songs on the album ( i.e. Kay-Ray-Kú-Kú-Kó-Kex, Húllabbalabbalúú, etc.) it features seemingly nonsensical lyrics, in this case about fish, eyeballs, and marriage. These types of lyrics prevalent on the album are witty and entertaining, much like the music itself. One of the strongest tracks on the album, Show Me, is a perfect mix of all the elements that make the album memorable. It features the vocal talents of all three singers, and a mix of soft acoustic instruments, electronic sounds, and a tasteful drum beat. Sing Along To Songs You Don't Know shows múm building and improving on their ever-changing sound. It is a memorable album that is a fine addition to their diverse discography.


user ratings (36)
Chart.
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Skimaskcheck
December 30th 2009


2364 Comments


Nice review man, i need to get this, Finally We Are No One was cool, would you say this is better?

A_Guy
December 30th 2009


106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I would say it's different. Since both albums feature such different members, it's a new kind of sound, so I have a hard time comparing the two. That being said, I would definitely recommend it.

Skimaskcheck
December 30th 2009


2364 Comments


Good point, i'll get it sometime, thanks!

Mr Fahrenheit
December 30th 2009


38 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review



I kinda disagree with you on the rating though, I'm waiting for this to grow on me like Poison Ivy did, but right now I'm at a 3-3.5



Illuminated is great though

YouAreMySilence
December 30th 2009


3727 Comments


I really tried to get inot these guys but everything they've done, for me, is a 3.5 at the most. Maybe Finally We Are No One would get a 4 from me on a good day.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy