Mono
For My Parents


3.5
great

Review

by Elijah K. STAFF
September 6th, 2012 | 132 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Mono are as fine tuned as ever, but lacking the dark dramatics of their previous albums "For My Parents" makes for a divisive and somewhat disappointing listen.

To outright criticize Mono for a lack of originality would be an exercise in futility. After all, the Japanese post-rock band has stuck to their guns by producing the same album over and over again, with little to no change in sound or presentation. And while we as music listeners scoff at such unabashed stubbornness, there’s something undeniably endearing about such resilience. Mono do not change because there is no reason to. Like it or not, the band works like a fine tuned, well-oiled machine. All the parts work in accordance, as they have for the last decade. The bold dramatics that the band employs are a genre staple, which has been honed thanks to the addition of more instruments and cleverer songwriting. And while For My Parents sees a return to all of this excellence, one cannot help but feel like Mono are somewhat muted. The pitch-perfect sound is still there, but missing is the heartrending emotion that has made the band such a powerful force.

For My Parents, as stated, is Mono playing Mono. The tremolo picked builds lead into the explosive climaxes much as they always have. The songs are massive, churning movements that test the listener’s patience as they grow at a crawling pace. Sadly it must be said that this time around the payoff isn’t equal to the investment. In 2009’s Hymn to the Immortal Wind, the climaxes that ended each song were gargantuan, erupting in a wall of noise that felt both contained and all over the place. No matter how often one hears them, each time it is something to marvel. Yet here we find these moments to be somewhat diminished. Yes there are “big” endings, but compared to what the band has done before it all feels a bit trite. That evocative feeling they make one feel is replaced with simple admiration, as the band as seemingly forgotten how to captivate. More importantly, For My Parents has some definite pacing issues that make extended listens a minor chore. At 60 minutes, the five song album features a lot of wasted space towards the end. Where the band has always exceled at utilizing each moment-even the silences-this time around there’s a lot of bloat, namely during the 15 minute “Unseen Harbor.” This issue plus the lacking climaxes adds up to some rather disappointing moments.

Mono have adhered strongly to their past, but with For My Parent the band has changed up their tone considerably. Mono has always been a very dark band, with brooding sounds and ultra-warm tones. On the band’s sixth album things have shifted into noticeably brighter territory. The closer especially feels much more hopeful than anything else the band has done. It is a much lighter album, which is in part thanks to a less claustrophobic atmosphere. This may not be what many are expecting, but hearing the band in such a different light is actually incredibly refreshing, and helps the album from feeling too stale.

Despite the glaring issues with Mono’s latest album, it is not beyond reproach. As stated ad nauseum, this is a Mono album through and through, so much in fact that this reviewer felt déj* vu during some of the more lulling parts. Depending on one’s feelings towards the band, this will be a key factor in whether or not this is a worthwhile listen. For many, however, the promise of more music as beautiful as You Are There and Hymn to the Immortal Wind will be enough to dive right in once again.



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user ratings (129)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
DarkNoctus (2.5)
more of the same but far, far less....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Omaha
Staff Reviewer
September 6th 2012


10506 Comments


Aww, but when you had it at a 4.5 I was so happy for you.

minty901
September 6th 2012


2168 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this reads like a 3.0. i hope your opinion on the album wasn't influenced by other people's negativity (*cough* noctus *cough* :P). to drop from a 4.5 to a 3.5 so quickly is bizarre. if you love an album then stick to your guns. unless it genuinely did wear off that quickly for you.

minty901
September 6th 2012


2168 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

music isn't logical. it's subjective. if this album feels like a 4.5, then you should give it 4.5.

minty901
September 6th 2012


2168 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

fair enough. i mean i'm not sure why i'm complaining since i'm quite in agreement with you. i was just concerned that the review might have been a little rushed out if you're in the middle of still figuring out how much you like the album. i mean rushed in judgement, not rushed in writing style of course. the review is very well-written.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
September 6th 2012


7508 Comments


Where's the best place to start with these guys?

Poet
September 6th 2012


5946 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

that necessarily isn't a bad thing either.

Poet
September 6th 2012


5946 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

that necessarily isn't a bad thing either.

minty901
September 6th 2012


2168 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i'd start with walking cloud. it's the perfect balance between their older, darker style, and their newer, more dramatic, emotional style. if you find you like the darker, rockier sounds in walking cloud (lost snow), then head backwards and get one more step. if you find you're enjoying the more pretty side (halcyon), then move forwards and get you are there and then hymn to the immortal wind. if you like the theme songs to band of brothers and the pacific, and want to hear 60 minutes-worth of alternative cuts of said theme songs, get for my parents.

breakingthefragile
September 6th 2012


3012 Comments


Well, no need for me to write a review of this anymore. This review says pretty much everything I ever could have said and more, except I think I'm gonna go with a 4 for a rating. As always, awesome job Eli.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
September 6th 2012


51609 Comments


for my parents, forever ago

Gyromania
September 6th 2012


18353 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

conformity!

FadedSun
September 6th 2012


1426 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm seeing them soon. I always love their live shows. I'm going to buy the album at the show, so I'll listen to it in full then. This will be the first time I hear the songs live before I hear the recorded versions.

DarkNoctus
September 6th 2012


9265 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

better than my review. :]

Ire
September 6th 2012


41861 Comments


zzZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

DarkNoctus
September 6th 2012


9265 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

awww, ire is taking a nap! cute :]

DarkNoctus
September 6th 2012


9265 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

i still really like nostalgia but the rest is just bleh ]:

WeepingBanana
September 7th 2012


10361 Comments


I still consider You Are There as a pretty great post rock album but i doubt i'll check this out

amanwithahammer
September 7th 2012


585 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

didn't know there was a new mono album DAMN

ThunderNeutral21
September 7th 2012


3864 Comments


3.5 for a band whose best album (not including palmless prayer) is just barely a 3.5

disappointing

kingsoby1
Emeritus
September 7th 2012


4968 Comments


every mono record is a 3 or 3.5. one of them is a 4, forget which one



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