The Middle East
I Want That You Are Always Happy


4.0
excellent

Review

by doug USER (78 Reviews)
April 18th, 2011 | 99 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I wish Jesus came to my birthday party.

I Want That You Are Always Happy is quite a resounding title for an album, and one that The Middle East are characterized to try and achieve with their latest offerings. After making their mark on the Australian indie scene with the debut release, The Recordings of The Middle East, the pressure was quite high for the band to produce something equally as good - let alone better with I Want That You Are Always Happy. Yet, the band have done a complete 360 to anything that made Recordings... so good. By getting rid of the quaint and quirky sounds that were heard on “Blood” or “The Darkest Side” and introducing much darker tones, piano lead riffs and more simple placed folk, no longer are the intricate melodies found, which previously carried The Middle East.

The dark and quite haunting tunes that open the album, resemble quite the opposite to what the album title suggests, as “Black Death 1349” opens with the wailing of lead vocalist Jordan Ireland, which sets quite a sombre tone for the rest to come. This theme is also established via the gorgeously simple “My Grandmother Was A Pearl” intertwining basic piano chord progressions with the subtlety of Irelands husky low range. Things change pace with first single, “Jesus Came to My Birthday Party” as we are uplifted with the harmony of Ireland and Tranter. Pleasantly the merrier tunes continue to flow from this point as “Land of the Bloody Unknown” is a bouncy, jaunty tune that garners a high rotation with its sing-a-long factor being uncontrollable.

Many highlights are strung throughout the album, yet the staunch consistency is what piecesI Want That You Are Always Happy together and gives it such distinct longevity. No track comes across as weak, as the flow is impeccable yet, contradicting this, “Deep Water” is the definite standout of the album. The ten minute epic whirls through hauntingly beautiful melodies, combining slide guitar, piano and banjo underneath Ireland’s glorious vocals.

Lyrically the album delves into strong connotations about Jesus and the mysteries of religion, yet is quite hard to follow the bands actual view on the topic, and sometimes are borderline on strange:

“That was a long time ago
And I haven’t seen him in a while
Now I’m down in the city
And I think I seen him in the eyes
Of the strangers that pass
In the eyes of the poor

Jesus came to my birthday party
When I was seventeen
It was a long time ago”


I Want That You Are Always Happy isn’t what anyone was expecting from The Middle East, and that is was makes it so good. A indulge of much simpler folk, and straight forward melodies show that the band is full of flexibility and aren’t afraid to show that they are not just a one trick pony and is not just trying to put out “Blood version 2”. The sound is barebones, but don’t let that put you off as that’s what draws you in to the awkward, yet familiar offerings that I Want That You Are Always Happy is.



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user ratings (57)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
garth (4.5)
A blinding number of rays of light in a dark storm....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Douglas
April 18th 2011


9110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, cool album. So different though.



Digging: The Preatures - Blue Planet Eyes

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
April 18th 2011


23845 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

bitchin' review, pos fo sho

I didn't know these guys had a new album coming out. I haven't rated The Recordings Of The Middle East because I've only heard it in passing, but they sounded awesome. They were also phenomenal at Sasquatch last year when I inadvertently took in their set, I just needed somewhere to lie down for 30 minutes lol

I will check this out for sure.

Douglas
April 18th 2011


9110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cheers bro.

Yeah man they are the best band to have a chill out session during a festival.

Give Recordings a gander first, then listen to this, it will folk your yolk!

liledman
April 18th 2011


3826 Comments


nice review dude. i heard this was kind of boring compared to their previous stuff, but i guess if you dig it i might as well have a look.

Douglas
April 18th 2011


9110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nah man, it's just different in style really, still really enjoyable.

HBFS
April 18th 2011


1261 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah been listening to this heaps, nice review.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
April 18th 2011


23845 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Give Recordings a gander first, then listen to this, it will folk your yolk!"

yeah, I'm doing that now. Plan on giving this a spin tomorrow.

North0House2
April 18th 2011


5857 Comments


Man, everyone has Tallest Man on Earth avatars here lol.
Anyways, great review, I might check this out, sounds interesting.

Digging: Zelienople - The World Is A House On Fire

tombits
April 18th 2011


3470 Comments


nice review dougie.

still need to figure out whether i did this or not... it certainly doesn't draw me in like their debut did and it seems a little homogeneous, but there's some cool stuff on here.

Mordecai.
April 18th 2011


8279 Comments


I want this and I want this now

Douglas
April 18th 2011


9110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

get it now

takes a couple of listens before your like omg, this is amazing

crazyblinddude
April 18th 2011


3389 Comments


Great review Dougie. Definitely worthy of a pos.

I loved their previous album. It really grows on you. I'll have to check this one out soon now though.

Douglas
April 18th 2011


9110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks dude.

Yes you will!

Mordecai.
April 18th 2011


8279 Comments


I'm in a ln environmental law lecture for another two hours and mediafire is useless on an iPhone = (

iFghtffyrdmns
April 18th 2011


7047 Comments


By getting rid of the quaint and quirky sounds that were heard on “Blood” or “The Darkest Side” and introduced much darker tones, piano lead riffs and much more simple placed folk, instead of the intricate melodies found previously.

Re-read this sentence.... to me it's pretty awkward and isn't even a complete sentence? Either that or I'm just failing to read it correctly.


Other than that, great review. Perhaps I'll get around to checking these guys out, sounds pretty intriguing.

North0House2
April 19th 2011


5857 Comments


Wow, this is phenomenal.


Kiran
Emeritus
April 19th 2011


6001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i'm tentatively disappointed by this but only tentatively because i think i need to give it more of a chance to settle

Jash
April 19th 2011


4244 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh man I was hoping it would sound a lot like their first, but this still sounds super awesome and I love these guys so I'm sure I'll enjoy it regardless. Good review too

Douglas
April 19th 2011


9110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks guys! I'm on my iPhone at the moment but yeah thanks mate, that sentence is abit iffy... Will fix later!

Skimaskcheck
April 19th 2011


2360 Comments


Nice write up, yet another album i that slipped under my radar! i'm slacking, this sounds good though, will pick it up



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