Mogwai
Mr. Beast


4.0
excellent

Review

by Andrew H. EMERITUS
March 5th, 2006 | 28 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist


After releasing one of their most successful and popular albums in 2003, Mogwai return with their fifth studio album, Mr Beast. Proving that they had an ear for beauty and melody on Happy Songs For Happy People, Mr Beast takes those ideas further.

Mogwai
Dominic Aitchison - Guitar, Bass
Stuart Braithwaite - Guitar, Keyboards, Percussion
Martin Bulloch - Drums
Barry Burns - Guitar
John Cummings - Guitar, Piano


Though Mogwai's reputation will probably always be that of the loud blasts of noise and enormous dynamics that dominated their earlier records, it's clear that with Happy Songs For Happy People and now Mr Beast, Mogwai have become so much more. It would seem that after their sophomore release of Come On Die Young, Mogwai gradually started discovering melody and more beautiful ideas. By the time Mogwai released Happy Songs For Happy People, their songs were extremely varied and eclectic. Not only this, but Happy Songs For Happy People was arguably Mogwai's best record since Young Team. In many people's eyes, it was their best record yet.

For fans of the more recent Mogwai records, Mr Beast may well be the best Mogwai record yet. Although they had been hinting at it for a while, on Mr Beast completely does away with the epics that Mogwai have been praised for. There are no songs on the record that hit the 6 minute mark, giving each track a snappy and more accessible feel. The album's single is, interestingly enough, the second longest track on the album at 5:30. Although some of the songs sound like they could do with an extra 3 or 4 minutes (album opener "Auto Rock" being an great example), the length doesn't detract from the songs in the slightest. In fact, it makes them that much more special.

As mentioned earlier, the songs are an eclectic mix of sounds, styles, moods and feels. Like the band's last record, the majority of the tracks have a very uplifting mood. In this case, the album's strongest songs tend to be the more uplifting tracks. Like previous records, Mr Beast includes a handful of tracks with vocals. Two tracks have vocals courtesy of the band while "I Chose Horses" sees Tetsuya Fukagawa of Envy reciting a spoken word part.

Instrumentally, Mogwai are at their finest. Mr Beast is a much more piano dominated record than previous efforts and this is well to Mogwai's advantage. The electronics and programming that made a welcome appearance on Happy Songs For Happy People are in full swing on Mr Beast. While Mogwai make interesting use of electronics throughout the record, their music is never dominated by it. Overall, Mr Beast takes a much more conventional rock oriented approach to Mogwai's music. This is most prevailent on "Travel is Dangerous", which is one of the album's most conventional and beautiful songs. Despite the eclectic and melodic nature of Mr Beast, the noisy heaviness that Mogwai are known for makes many welcome appearances on this record. "Glasgow Mega-Snake" has some particularly noisy moments with explosions of feedback while album closer "We're No Here" is so heavy that it could be an Isis or Pelican song.

In comparison to Mogwai's earlier records, Mr Beast is a logical progression and a welcome addition to their catalogue. For fans of Rock Action and Happy Songs For Happy People, this record is everything that anyone could hope for. For those new to Mogwai, this is as good a time and place to start as any. For anyone and everyone else, Mr Beast just might be the best album Mogwai has made yet.

Pros
Mogwai have advanced their sound without forgetting their roots
Great vocals
Perfect album length

Cons
Fans might find the short songs dissapointing
While there are no dud tracks, some are weaker than others
Extensive use of piano may be offputting

Reccomended Tracks
Auto Rock
Travel is Dangerous
We're No Here

FINAL RATING: 4/5



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Mr. Beast starts with a beautiful, sad, and uplifting intro which sets the mood for the rest of the ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
br3ad_man
Emeritus
March 5th 2006


2125 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just to clarify, it's now the release date of this album here and I have purchased the record.

Zebra
Moderator
March 5th 2006


2647 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Nice review.
I am upset with this album because I think it sounds rushed and the songs don't really go anywhere. I can't find any standout tracks and think the album doesn't really have any "feel" to it.

Kage
March 5th 2006


1172 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review.I haven't heard this yet, but I want to. I'll likely buy it eventually, but from the review it doesn't sound like anything I must hear immedieately.

I predict that opinions will be quite varied on this album.This Message Edited On 03.05.06

Storm In A Teacup
March 5th 2006


13191 Comments


Good review, Bread. From what you said, I'm not sure if I would like this.

Adam Jones is GOD
March 6th 2006


113 Comments


Glasgow Mega-Snake is the most un-mogwai mogwai song to date.

Just gave this its first listen, and so far there are some great moments, but a few more listens may be needed till this takes preference over some of their better albums

And nice to see I still agree with other Mogwai fans on things

Med57
Moderator
March 6th 2006


1001 Comments


Hmm, I might check this out. I've never been a great fan of Mogwai from what I've heard before, but the reviews I've seen of this have been quite good on the whole. Cool review too.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
March 6th 2006


2125 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks dudes. Have you heard Happy Songs For Happy People Med? I dunno, it sounds like it's your kind of album.

analrightstart
April 2nd 2006


96 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Brilliant album.

Most definately more piano based than previous albums, i might even go as far to say this album has a bit of 'sigur-ros-esque' to it.

Travel is Dangerous and Emergency Trap are hot.

Serapheus
April 6th 2006


251 Comments


Pretty damn good album and and nice review. I need more stuff by this band.

Travel is Dangerous OWNS!!!

STLMiguel
May 20th 2006


335 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album is freaking incredible. Just awesome. I'm new to Mogwai, but I definately plan on buying some more. Definately.

Broken Arrow
May 20th 2006


220 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is a pretty great album. I bought the CD/DVD package. It's......interesting.

STLMiguel
May 27th 2006


335 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

OK, I've now heard the Happy Music album, Young Team and Rock Action and Mr. Beast is STILL my favorite Mogwai album by quite a bit. I still need to check out C.O.D.Y., but that's it.

I don't get how anyone could not think this was better than those other albums. Mr Beast is almost a 5/5 for me, really.

Broken Arrow
May 27th 2006


220 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I thought Young Team and Happy Music were stronger than this album but opinions are opinions.

XMII
June 22nd 2007


176 Comments


I agree completely with STLMiguel. This is such a good album. And I own the entire discography.

Disconnected
December 6th 2009


485 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review. I think that this album is special; among the post-rock genre, most bands like to do longer songs. It's nice to find a post-rock band that isn't afraid to be concise.

Meatplow
December 21st 2009


5524 Comments


I liked this one.

bungy
March 10th 2010


8843 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love this album

Krumkake
February 2nd 2011


31 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Copy-paste Bungy's comment

jefflebowski
February 17th 2013


8257 Comments


a mogwai album with production this over-compressed kind of defeats the main strength of mogwai albums in the first place

Gyromania
March 1st 2013


15967 Comments


actually this is probably my favourite of their albums



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