MiXE1
Starlit Skin


3.9
excellent

Review

by Magnus Altkula STAFF
June 8th, 2014 | 22 replies | 2,189 views


Release Date: 06/01/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: For the air is full of life

Since I started working at Estonia's last all-round record shop a few months ago, my days have been split between soft, usually customer-friendly pop, indie and electronic music during daytime, and harsh metal that I devour on those nights I'm still in the mood for some serious music listening (you can't believe how easily that wish can decrease if you're surrounded by music literally all day long). MiXE1's debut album is fun little thing that suits both times, though. Well, it would suit both times in theory. I mean we don't physically have it at our disposal in the record store and probably won't either. But if we did, I would totally put it on. Starlit Skin, mainly due to frontman Mike Evans's soothing singing voice, can have quite the calming effect, featuring an atmosphere that suits as both background and foreground music. I could put it on after a long and laborious day to relax, or I could grab an usb cable, stick it to my ipod, and tell my friends as we're cruising around "look, I know you don't really listen to electronic rock, but this here has got a welcoming enough vibe to suit you all." Either way, the album is a fine choice.

It's not the poppy vibe itself that distinguishes MiXE1 from their peers (many electro rock bands sound poppy), it's how sleekly they integrate the worlds of pop, rock, and electronica that counts. The more guitar-heavy parts aren't there just so we could throw a "rock" label on it, much like Starlit Skin isn't poppy just because that means greater accessibility. On their debut album, MiXE1 have managed to create a formidable mix of styles that sounds very much their own. That is evident in the album's seamless flow – no track, not even a segment of a single track, sounds out of place, as the album washes over the listener like a wave. Even if Evans isn't the greatest of screamers, the tracks he does so in wouldn’t sound the same without screaming; even if the album is at its best when sleepwalking through an airy atmosphere, the heavier sections provide a welcome change of pace regardless; even though the cd's greatest tracks are the two bookends, the rest sounds just as nice, if not as instantly memorable. Starlit Skin is larger than the sum of its parts – something all great albums are.

Above all, I like Starlit Skin because it's an honest record that obviously came straight from the heart of the band. It's evocative, vigorous, and the emotions conveyed are real. The passion on display, you can't fake it – listening to the lyrics of the final song "Airwaves" makes it clear how grateful frontman Evans is to be where he's/they're at, regardless of whether the lyrics are part of the album's narrative, or not (It's here in me, in frequency, it resonates I create what I see / And a thank you, you know who, you're the ones that kept me up together / I hope you're proud, and you know I will always remember). This is an end of an era for him, but as his brainchild has finally taken off, then in the broader scheme of things it's just the beginning. Starlit Skin may not be a worldbeater, but it will undoubtedly carve a nice little niche for MiXE1, and truthfully, I believe moving a select group of people is all that really matters in the end.




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user ratings (6)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
ConorIsNotHere
June 8th 2014



1177 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hey look, it's that album I said I would listen to but didn't :/

Good review though, have an imaginary pos! :D

IronGiant
June 8th 2014



707 Comments


couldnt get into the album but the review is nice.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
June 8th 2014



8317 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

You should check it out then, Conor. The stream is still up, if only for half a day or so!

Thanks IronGiant!

ConorIsNotHere
June 8th 2014



1177 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

2am jams let's do this! I remember liking the first song though so that's always a good sign :P

Edit: damn, this is pretty awesome. IDK why I waited this long to listen to this

GreyShadow
June 8th 2014



433 Comments


Enjoying this.

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

ProjectFreak
June 8th 2014



1289 Comments


Not bad, though it sounds a little bit like a lot of mid-2000s alt-metal at times. Great review though.

Phlegm
June 8th 2014



3750 Comments


this looks awful

Digging: Wretched Excess - Away From This World

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
June 9th 2014



5899 Comments


Great review Magnus.


Since I started working at Estonia's last all-round record shop a few months ago

One of the best jobs in the world for music enthusiasts.

I was browsing the shelves of a moderate size record store one day when some girl customer though I was actually working there, and asked directions for locating a particular album haha. I helped her find the album, of course.

Digging: The Golden Grass - The Golden Grass

chug73
June 9th 2014



907 Comments


will keep listening to this. not bad

Digging: Last Days of Humanity - Putrefaction in Progress

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
June 9th 2014



8317 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

Not bad, though it sounds a little bit like a lot of mid-2000s alt-metal at times. Great review though.
I can see how the heavier parts might indeed, but as a whole it didn't leave me that impression. But hey, at least you like it to a degree.

@Voivod
Yeah, it is indeed a sweet gig, one that I plan to hold on to quite a while. I'm taking a sabbatical year concerning school, but even after I get back to my studies I plan to keep on working there.

@Phlegm
It's not for everyone, that's for sure.

ExplosiveOranges
June 9th 2014



1333 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review, Mag. I oughta check this out soon.

Digging: Seven Lions - Worlds Apart

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
June 10th 2014



8317 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

Thanks man, though truth be told, I'm not sure if this is your thing.

ExplosiveOranges
June 10th 2014



1333 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've been trying to get into stuff that's a little more pleasant on the ears, so I'll give this a shot.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
June 10th 2014



8317 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

Alright, lemme know what you thought about it once you've given it a spin or two.

Willie
Moderator
June 11th 2014



15875 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4 | Sound Off

This reminds me of a heavier version of Kill Hannah. I like it.

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

ConorIsNotHere
June 18th 2014



1177 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just got my physical copy, they even included a message that they signed, a wristband & a badge! :O

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
June 18th 2014



8317 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

Glad to know that a) people are finding this enjoyable and b) the band put some effort into the whole product.

ConorIsNotHere
June 30th 2014



1177 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Bump to say that Here is brilliant :P

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
July 1st 2014



8317 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

I enjoy the opener and the closer the most, but "Here" is nice as well.

ConorIsNotHere
July 2nd 2014



1177 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The bookends are pretty awesome agreed (the beat version of Talking In Our Sleep is also pretty sweet). Have you heard their earlier stuff by any chance?



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