Young the Giant
Mind Over Matter


4.0
excellent

Review

by H. USER (119 Reviews)
January 23rd, 2014 | 19 replies


Release Date: 01/21/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It's about time.

When Young the Giant burst onto the alternative rock scene back in 2010, I originally shrugged them off as just another generic band who found their mainstream breakthrough as a result of sheer luck. It took some time for singles like "Cough Syrup" to grow on me, but after listening to their eponymous debut more and more, I soon realized just how talented the band was. Sameer Gadhia's striking vocals were full of both aggressive and passionate energy, while Jacob Tilley's guitarwork was full of crunching riffs. The fact that Young the Giant are able to spread their energetic brand of indie rock throughout a whole twelve-track album instantly puts them ahead of contemporaries like Imagine Dragons, who could only muster an EPs worth of decent material. Granted, Young the Giant did falter a bit towards its latter half, but it was only for a few tracks, and the album did regain its stride with the excellent closer "Guns Out". Mind Over Matter was one of January's highly anticipated releases for me, mainly because I wanted to see if the Californian five-piece would be able to continue making quality music.

Luckily, Young the Giant are able to escape a dreaded sophomore slump, as Mind Over Matter manages to be just as good as their self-titled freshman effort, if not better. Once again, the band piles its strongest tracks at the album's beginning - the one-two punch of "Anagram" and "It's About Time" draws comparisons to the combo of "Apartment" and "My Body" from their debut. In the battle of the lead singles, “It’s About Time” comes off as the inferior mainly because its hook isn’t as immediate as “My Body” (hell, even Volbeat’s cover of “My Body” was more attention-grabbing). Its aggression and gritty vocals, however, make up for its weak chorus. When Gahdia belts out, “Everybody has, needs, wants a cold gun!” towards the end of the bridge, it feels so epic and climatic, something mediocre bands like The Airborne Toxic Event wish they could do.

The album’s clear highlight comes at “Crystallized”, the band’s best song yet. Gadhia’s vocals are filled with emotion, and lyrics like “Is the human race sincere?” have meanings that are left up to the listeners to decide. The song is based around an addictive keyboard riff that is by far the most infectious part of the track. “Crystallized” is by far the catchiest song that Young the Giant have released so far in their short career, and it’s songs like these that show off the band’s talent. “Mind Over Matter” also has Gadhia at a vocal highpoint – as he cries out, “I’m a young man built to fall”, I sense themes of insecurity and stress in the band’s lyrical matter. It’s clear that the young quintet are evolving, lyrically and musically.

However, by placing the album’s best tracks in its front half, Mind Over Matter suffers from the same flaw as its predecessor. The record’s rear portion is bloated with mediocre filler tracks, making its nearly hour-long runtime seem like a chore. The placement of “Firelight” and “Camera” back-to-back baffles me: both tracks are five minutes long (the lengthiest songs on the record), drag on slowly and sound pretty similar musically. “Eros”, “Teachers” and “Paralysis” are some of the highlights from the album’s bloated second half, but none of them come close to the greatness achieved by “Crystallized” or “Daydreamer”.

Mind Over Matter really is an improvement over their self-titled debut. Songs like “It’s About Time” and “Anagram” rival “My Body” and “I Got” for the title of best Young the Giant song. But when it comes to cutting down on filler tracks, improvement is minute, and if the band had just trimmed down the number of songs on the album, Mind Over Matter’s second half wouldn’t seem like such a chore to listen to. Even though the record does show some blemishes, it would be blasphemy not to credit them for making amazing songs like “Crystallized” and “Mind Over Matter”. Young the Giant are still a young band, and hopefully they can fix some of their flaws in the long run.



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user ratings (111)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
Jonatan Garibay (2.5)
“Mind Over Matter” is still the commercial Young the Giant that we heard in 2010-2011 with a tad...

Nathan Taft (4)
Aside from a few minor growing pains, “Mind Over Matter” proves Young the Giant is maturing into...

Davey Boy STAFF (3.7)
Far from paralyzed, even if the whole is less than the sum of its parts....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Green Baron
January 22nd 2014


20354 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Feedback appreciated. This is more of a singles album

risingabove
January 22nd 2014


75 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

If it weren't for those two long songs than this would be a great album

KriegdemKriege
January 22nd 2014


1418 Comments


But it deserves a 4.5?

Green Baron
January 22nd 2014


20354 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Even without those two songs, it would probably be a 4. The way it stands now, it's a 3.8.

facupm
January 22nd 2014


8666 Comments


never heard of this band

KriegdemKriege
January 22nd 2014


1418 Comments


Can someone explain to me how to include italics in reviews? That's been bugging me for a while and I haven't bothered asking yet.

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
January 22nd 2014


6578 Comments


[ i ]text[ /i ]

omit the spaces and you should be fine.

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 22nd 2014


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Nice review GLM. Well summed up.

Kind of glad that you didn't put your comment of "more of a singles album" in the review though, because I'm usnure I agree.

Also, "Sameer Gadhia's striking vocals was full of both ..." I think "was" should be "were".

KriegdemKriege
January 23rd 2014


1418 Comments


[i]Thank you.[i]

KriegdemKriege
January 23rd 2014


1418 Comments


Well. That didn't work.

KriegdemKriege
January 23rd 2014


1418 Comments


I see what I did wrong.

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
January 23rd 2014


6578 Comments


Close, but you have to end with [ / i ]. The [ i ] is just the first part. Makes sense?

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
January 23rd 2014


6578 Comments


Oh wait never mind, you beat me too it.

Green Baron
January 23rd 2014


20354 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Seriously, who's been ghost negging? This and Anerican Authors are full of negs without any explanation. It's not one it's multiple too

unaMUSEd
January 23rd 2014


1174 Comments


site is full of trolls. pos'd

Digging: Bring Me the Horizon - Sempiternal

Pheromone
January 23rd 2014


3862 Comments


debating whether or not to listen to this, solid review still pos.

Digging: Jeremy Enigk - Return of the Frog Queen

psandy
January 28th 2014


89 Comments


w000000t, spinning this right now. Solid, as of right now I like their debut better but.. We'll see what the time brings. Anyways excellent review as always greenlink, pos'd

marcosmce
February 1st 2014


122 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Gonna check this out. Their debut is good enough.
sweet review btw

gryndstone
February 1st 2014


361 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Camera is actually a really good track. honestly there's nothing here i don't really like gr8 album



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