The Midway State
Paris or India


3.5
great

Review

by Adam Knott EMERITUS
September 19th, 2011 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Never relying on anything except its own gorgeous self.

In a world where you no longer have to even know the location of a record store in order to hear new music, it almost doesn't matter how good you are; upcoming artists have - in their wildest dreams - something approaching thirty seconds to make their mark. That's a pretty scary thought, and one which causes all manner of fuck-ups to adorn first tracks. Yeah, everyone feels like they have to do something ridiculous in order to stand out; if you're not the world's next Radiohead, why bother, right? Which is why it's refreshing once in every while to hear a band like The Midway State, who are pretty special without even trying to be.

Melodies and rhythms all over the damn place! I sometimes think we forgot about those things somewhere down the line; let's face it, if standing out in such a crowded field is difficult, finding those stand-outs has to take its toll to an extent. But the Canadian outfit's second record Paris or India is nothing if not a refuge. It doesn't hide its poppy aesthetic or posture. Its driving synths and reverb-drowning guitars are knowingly anthemic. It's not afraid to go where you've anticipated it might, and it's always beautiful when you get there. It's usually epic, too.

Part of the reason The Midway State are able to fall back into these staples is the simple fact that they've nailed a sonic texture so smooth and gorgeous that it's impossible for them not to sound fresh, which is no mean feat. While everyone has their tolerance limits for production values, Paris or India finds the pristine middle ground between energetic and ethereal that much pop music tries cheaply to exploit, but few artists would capitalise on locating such a groove in the way that The Midway State do, melding toe-tapping beats to the most uplifting of choruses at every juncture.

Paris or India is a record which never really attempts profundity, but it's light years from a shallow outing, and the depth that it does possess from moment to moment is amplified so beautiful by the way it works as a whole, never relenting, never relying on anything except its own vibrant and catchy heart to propel it. I would say that ninety-nine percent of people will know after the first four discernible notes of opener 'Alive' whether Paris or India is for them, and the great thing about records as bold as this one is that the impression they leave tends to be lasting.



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user ratings (4)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Knott-
Emeritus
September 20th 2011


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

but adam u cant post 2 in 1 day shut up

first track
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwgjBiMwSng

best song
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XarEzCV9mA

Irving
Staff Reviewer
September 20th 2011


7318 Comments


pcoming artists have - in their wildest dreams - something approaching thirty seconds to make their mark.

So, so true. If a band hasn't given me the chills by the mid-way point of their third track they can forget having more than five or six spins of their album and a rating higher than 3.5 on this site.

Review was solid. Felt it could have used a bit more work on describing the actual songs themselves though, instead of the feel of the album as a whole. Still, Ily Knott; so pos.

Digging: Portishead - Dummy

Slum
September 20th 2011


2579 Comments


that cover just screams indie album

pizzamachine
September 20th 2011


12571 Comments


Cool stuff, makes me want to sleep.

Eko
September 20th 2011


2119 Comments


the best song is okay

Knott-
Emeritus
September 20th 2011


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the songs are all the album though man, there's little to choose between them. awesome melody after awesome melody. i sorta get what you mean 'cause i only mention one specific song right at the end but it's sort of the point.

Knott-
Emeritus
September 20th 2011


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

coolstory, Slum: i actually only found out that this record existed searching my RSS for album covers i thought would come hiding songs i liked. that cover = the reason this review exists!

Irving
Staff Reviewer
September 20th 2011


7318 Comments


the songs are all the album though man, there's little to choose between them. awesome melody after awesome melody. i sorta get what you mean 'cause i only mention one specific song right at the end but it's sort of the point.

I dunno Knott. I'm just thinking that a single paragraph dealing with two or three songs between the second and third paragraph would make this review near perfect. It wouldn't even take away from the overarching point you were trying to create i.e that the whole flow of the album is awesome. In its present state - I dunno - it just seems lazy.

Knott-
Emeritus
September 20th 2011


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

dammit irving you're probably right

Twelvetribes230
September 20th 2011


110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great band / record. Knott- you should also check out their first album "Holes".

Irving
Staff Reviewer
September 20th 2011


7318 Comments


=(?

Slum
September 20th 2011


2579 Comments


that's usually how i pick an album if I'm pining to review something, if the album art catches my eye then I give it a shot. It's shallow but it works. Great review as per usual, man, you have a way with words.

Mordecai.
September 20th 2011


8281 Comments


i skimmed this review like eight times and the only thing that sticks out is:

Radiohead


Is this radiohead?

qwe3
September 20th 2011


21369 Comments


no its not dont bother

Knott-
Emeritus
September 20th 2011


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hahaha qwe

Waior
October 23rd 2011


11461 Comments


oh man canadian music gettin in

Digging: Hey Rosetta! - Second Sight

handsbanana
March 27th 2012


9 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great.



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