Mae
(m)orning


3.5
great

Review

by SowingSeason STAFF
October 18th, 2010 | 34 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An inspirational change of pace for a band with a lot to prove.

Morning time is a promise. If you ever want to see a real life embodiment of hope, all you need to do is watch a sun rise. Something about the skyline’s gradual change from blue-gray to orange feels like an art show put into motion. As the sun climbs over the horizon and spreads its light across your hemisphere, it is essentially spreading hope in your direction as well. It is only fitting then that the soundtrack to morning was created by Mae, a band aspiring for a new start of its own.

Mae had an astronomical rise to success with the highly uplifting The Everglow, but they fell off the map just as quickly with the critical failure of the follow-up LP Singularity. In an attempt to regain their footing as artists and musicians, they began an ambitious project: a series of three EP’s, each one a musical component for one of the major phases of the day. They even decided to donate the sales from these EP’s to various charities. Just about every aspect of the band’s new direction was founded on noble grounds, and (m)orning appropriately kicks off the series with inspiring results.

Gone is the Mae that Singularity brought into the public eye. (m)orning features three instrumental tracks, and they help lend a sense of character to the album’s theme as well as the band’s newfound identity. “Good (M)orning” introduces things with a songbird, followed by a metropolitan, borderline-electronic beat. Honestly, the song doesn’t scream morning like it probably should, but one can’t fault Mae for trying. “Two Birds” is a much more successful endeavor into the world of instrumental tracks, with acoustic guitars, light-hearted piano, and intermittent flutes that all beautifully intertwine to create one of the most breathtaking moments in Mae’s entire discography. On (m)orning, it is clear that Mae is just getting their feet wet in instrumental experimentation, but “Two Birds” is a clear triumph that shows a bright future for the similar projects that they end up tackling on (a)fternoon and (e)vening.

The vocal tracks are far more consistent here, although slightly less alluring. “The Fisherman Song” is an eight and a half minute song that was strangely positioned at the front of the album. It features a variety of tempo changes throughout, along with a frequent tradeoff between acoustic and electric guitars. It finally culminates with a chunky solo riff and lead vocalist Elkin’s atmospheric screams of “We all need love!” “The House That Fire Built” is a similar long track at over seven minutes, with a steady drum beat that drives the early flow of the album. At least thematically, Mae does not hit its stride until the latter portion of (m)orning though. The EP really comes alive atmospherically after the instrumental “Two Birds”, and the vocal tracks “A Melody, the Memory” and “Night/Day” really follow suit. To be frank, even though the other songs featuring vocals are individually alluring, these two songs are the only ones that feel “on topic.” “A Melody, the Memory” starts gently while steadily increasing the energy, making it feel akin to one’s slow rise in the morning. The song is generally percussion driven, but the inclusion of light piano notes towards the end lends an emotional touch. “Night/Day” is the perfect blend of every instrument used on the album, and Elkins sounds more relaxed and focused than ever in his vocal melodies. “(M)orning Drive” closes out the EP by revisiting the urban aura of the opening minutes, helping to give the EP a cyclical feel.

When all is said and done, (m)orning is Mae reentering its element. Mae is a band with very high aspirations artistically, and the cookie-cutter pop formulas of Singularity, while catchy, didn’t do the band justice. The fans knew it, and obviously the band did too. (m)orning is just the 180-degree turnaround that Mae needed to point themselves back in the right direction. The EP is by no means perfect, as it shows flaws in consistency between the vocal and instrumental tracks, as well as gaps in the theme. But the songs, even if you have to evaluate each one individually, are interesting and entirely original. In the end, (m)orning proved to be just the fresh start the band needed.



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Chart.
3.8
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Adam Knott EMERITUS (3.5)
Despite an awkward title and a stuttering track listing, (M)orning shows Mae at their most ambitious...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Eko
October 18th 2010


2119 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is better than the everglow, the fisherman song and two birds are so awesome. nice review pos

Foxhound
October 18th 2010


4570 Comments


You make me daydream about the orgasmic California sunrises.. But neg cause I hate you ;)

ps. you know i'm jkin I always pos your shit, but I'm still going to read it thouroughly and make fun of you if you messed up hehe

Ire
October 18th 2010


41803 Comments


Review is great. I didn't find any mistakes.

Pos.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
October 18th 2010


16455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

didn't want to give this the same rating as knott, because then this review would have felt pointless.

but i had no choice. it is outstanding but pretty inconsistent, and it doesn't always give me that morning feel.

anyway, i plan on reviewing (a)fternoon and (e)vening too, so yeah its not a discog review but it is close.

Digging: Zella Day - Zella Day

Irving
Staff Reviewer
October 19th 2010


7312 Comments


Excellent review Sowing (as per usual). Pos.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
October 19th 2010


16455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks, been in kind of a slump lately just trying to get my skills sharp again in time for taylor's new album ;)

Irving
Staff Reviewer
October 19th 2010


7312 Comments


HAHA. I can't wait! *giggles in excitement*

(also, you're doing fine - IMHO just keep writing and checking out contribs and staffs' reviews to add diversity to your style. For what it's worth, even when you're apparently in a "slump", I've still come to expect a certain tier of quality from you, and you rarely - if ever - fall below that. Keep it up.)

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
October 19th 2010


16455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

haha thanks man, that actually means a lot

Oafdog
October 19th 2010


49 Comments


Is this better than Singularity?

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
October 19th 2010


16455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it depends on who you ask - i happened to love singularity...

but overall this is more creative, more original, more artistic...basically more everything.

it just isn't as catchy.

Oafdog
October 19th 2010


49 Comments


I didn't like Singularity. Found it to be fairly good but pretty boring. I'll give this a listen it sounds better.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
October 19th 2010


16455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

listen to the whole series of EP's

morning, afternoon, and especially evening are all really good.

tiesthatbind
October 19th 2010


7377 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

(P)os.

Digging: Poets of the Fall - Signs of Life

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
October 19th 2010


16455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

(T)hanks buddy

Oafdog
October 19th 2010


49 Comments


oh they're all out now? man i'm slow. oh and nice review. pos

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
October 19th 2010


16455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks, and i'm not sure if (e)vening has been officially released yet. but the first two definitely have they are on itunes

Oafdog
October 19th 2010


49 Comments


awesome, i'll check it out

couldwinarabbit
October 19th 2010


6996 Comments


cool review man. Might check this one out.

tapitforever
October 19th 2010


1243 Comments


great review. the everglow was awesome and the fisherman song is just epic.

SCREAMorphine
October 19th 2010


1758 Comments


Great review POS



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