Review Summary: The Everglow will take you on an emotional journey and will give you a perfect idea of exactly what Multisensory Aesthetic Experience really means.
Mae, or Multisensory Aesthetic Experience, is a band that loves meaning and beauty. Whether it's Dave Elkins' lyrical content, the multiple-meaning acronyms that appear in the band's name as well as EPs that the band releases, the use of many different types of orchestral instruments, or the artwork that appears on the covers of albums and in the booklets of CDs, Mae makes it very clear that they want more than their music to be the main focus of their art. The Everglow is multisensory, aesthetic, and most certainly an experience to listen to. It's main focus is on one of the most important things in life, and it portrays many different aspects to relationships and love that very few artists have come close to doing. Is that to say that The Everglow is perfect? No, but it does say that The Everglow does everything it intends and becomes one of the most moving albums of all time.
Now, I'm not sure how many people physically buy albums anymore considering the fact that this is the age where downloading is the most relevant and convenient way to obtain music. However, if you purchased The Everglow on disc and it came with the booklet, this album becomes more than just a piece of plastic with music on it. It begins with a very relaxed spoken word Prologue that is basically like a tour guide instructing you when to turn the pages of the booklet that the CD comes with, as the artwork in the booklet accompany the songs and flow with the lyrics. This leads into what very well could be the best piano song of all time, We're So Far Away.
"How could we know? that song, this show,
we'd learn so much about ourselves.
From Toledo, to Tokyo,
the words were scribed on every page,
and now there’s books up on our shelves.
Did you know how you would move us, did you know?
When the lights first came upon us,
and we saw The Everglow.
and the moment's magic swept us away.
and the young mans dream was almost seen so plain."
As shown by a small portion of the lyrics to We're So Far Away, the lyrics to this song perfectly represent what The Everglow is supposed to be about, a concept album about every aspect of emotion and beauty can be associated with the term 'love.' There are no words to describe how beautiful this song is, except for to listen to it and let it speak for itself. Elkins' beautiful vocals fit the song (and the album) perfectly, and the vocal harmony toward the end of this song is unbelievable. Don't get the wrong idea just by listening to this song though, it is without a doubt the softest song on the album, yet one of the highlights.
Instrumentally, The Everglow is pretty standard for the genre. The Everglow weaves back and forth between alternative, pop rock, and piano rock. This album is at it's best when guitarists Zach Gehring and Jacob Marshall use their poppy guitar riffs to the extreme. Seeing as "Someone Else's Arms" is without a doubt the best song instrumentally, it sounds as if the guitarists feel more comfortable with the pop rock side of the album. The thing about it is that one shouldn't focus much on the technicality of the intrsumentals, as the songwriting for them fits the aesthetic atmosphere of every other aspect of the album.
One of the overall highlights of this record is Dave Elkins' beautiful singing and lyrics. Emotional and melancoly on the sadder songs, as well as upbeat and energetic on the less sad songs, his voice fits this work of art phenomenally. Everyone who has ever been in a relationship or has felt "love" can relate to the lyrics written in this album. Whether it be the more popular "Suspension" or the infectiously catchy "Mistakes We Knew We Were Making," you will find that the choruses in this album are monstorous in the way that every song has a catchy chorus, yet none of them are like the rest of them in the music scene. The catchy choruses on some songs save some of the sub-par verses in them, an example being the title track.
So with all of that meshed together into a compact disc, what exactly do we have? A very near perfect, extremely catchy, accessible, beautiful, album with some of the best lyrics the genre can offer. Anyone trying to find an album that they can emotionally connect to should go to the nearest record store and buy this. In a way, The Everglow is Mae's most important record, as it defines and portrays everything they set out to be with their music and art. Running just over an hour, just give Mae 15 tracks to move you emotionally, that's all it will take as The Everglow is an artistic masterpiece.
We're So Far Away
Someone Else's Arms
Mistakes We Knew We Were Making
The Sun And The Moon