Mono
You Are There


5.0
classic

Review

by Adam Turner-Heffer USER (38 Reviews)
May 14th, 2006 | 103 replies | 20,557 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist


14 of 14 thought this review was well written

There are a lot of perceptions made about post-rock. Some call it pretentious, unapproachable, some even dare to call it dull. And the fans of the genre don't exactly help either, most of who slate the genre's critics, saying "They just don't get it". Either could be right, but what you cannot deny is that, with honesty and integrity, Mono have produced something so special here, that it could stun both critics and fans into silence. This is, in short the work of geniuses. You will not hear a more rewarding, challenging or uplifting record, all year.

Those who've previously heard Mono will know that their sound predominately is quite tranquil, but dark and moody, rarely exceeding heavy and often using single, tremolo guitar effects. And for a good proportion of this album, that is true, but it's used to much more dramatic effect. When Mono do finally turn the amplifiers up, it is not just thoughtless noise blasted out for the sake of it. It is just as intelligent, emotional and theatrical as the quieter moments; this is not pretentious Space-rock. Everything that happens in this album happens for a reason. "Yearning" for instance, sitting right in the middle of the album, explodes in energy and noise half way through the song (quite literally, it will make you jump the first couple of times you listen to it) and sends an ice age sliding down the back of your neck, as the thrilling cacophony of music Mono have created reveals itself.

Steve Albini's production of this album, however, makes it sound very dark and gloomy at times; you could be forgiven for thinking it was a Godspeed You! Black Emperor! album. Luckily though, this is saved by the music itself which manages to be as touching and fragile as say, Sigur Ros, who sit at the other end of the Post-Rock paradigm. The stunning bridge track "A Heart Has Asked For The pleasure" shows this wonderfully with its fairly simplistic structure and sound, which proves to be every bit as heart-warming and relaxing as the listener would hope it to be - providing a much needed break from the rest of the album's theatrics. The addition of orchestral instruments in this album also helps prove this new found fragility in Mono. "Are You There?" is a perfect example of this where it suddenly cuts into a very dark string section; probably the lowest point of the album as far as morale goes, but still remaining elegantly beautiful.

For such a rewarding and intelligent listen, it is perhaps hard to accept that this, completely instrumental quartet, with songs reaching 15 minutes, remain approachable and anything but alienating. It's more subtle than Sigur Ros' angelic, ethereal vocals and mood, but very much the same uplifting feeling, despite being so seemingly dark and aware. By the time finale "Moonlight" swings in, it is so full of swagger and confidence it is bound to leave nothing other than a huge grin on your face, as the album comes to an aware and dramatic, yet happy end. This album is very much like a really good movie; one that will stay in your heart long after you've watched it, one that will make you want to watch over and over again, one that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face by the end. In short, this is a masterpiece. The Japanese foursome has created something here that should be accepted as a classic. It does their live set some justice, which is an extremely difficult thing to do considering Mono are one of the most exciting and exhilarating live experiences in the world today. You'll smile, you'll cry, you'll relax, you'll fall in love; but most of all, you'll experience Mono, in what could be, their finest work.

Adam Turner-Heffer



Recent reviews by this author
British Sea Power Do You Like Rock Music?November Coming Fire Dungeness
Interpol Turn on the Bright LightsGodspeed You! Black Emperor Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas...
AVAST! FaultlinesFucked Up Hidden World
user ratings (520)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
MrUnderstanding18 (5)
Japanese post-rockers more than 'deliver the goods' - they unleash a classic....

Shattered_Future (5)
Sonic bliss....


Comments:Add a Comment 
AlienEater
May 14th 2006



716 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review. I've haven't heard this album, but I have heard other Mono stuff. They seemed cool.

Justanothernimrod
May 14th 2006



478 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I'd say this is probably their best work yet.

They're incredible live too! =]

montague
May 14th 2006



35 Comments


awesome review. really accurate.

Jawaharal
May 14th 2006



1832 Comments


Wait, they had a new release this year? oshi I need it.

Zebra
Moderator
May 14th 2006



2647 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love this album. Moonlight is such a dramatic and smooth closing song. Great review, I was thinking about doing this but you did a good job.


masada
May 14th 2006



2733 Comments


I love how this review was objective.

Still, a solid nad nicely written review.

Justanothernimrod
May 14th 2006



478 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

haha yeah, it is pretty objective. but then, it is a pretty stunning album as well.

this and NCF have not only really got to me from this year, but as music goes for quite some time. It's a really special album for me, I had to be objective really.

ktstein
May 16th 2006



438 Comments


I need to get this...
I love Under the Papal Tree and One More Step and You Die. These guys are the best thing to come out of Japan since bow-staffs...

AlienEater
May 27th 2006



716 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I just bought this. It's pretty good, after a single listen.

Serapheus
May 29th 2006



251 Comments


Pretty damn good and great review aswell.

prodigal_75
June 18th 2006



16 Comments


really well written...i'm new to mono, and have only heard their "one step more and you die" album, and i'm really impressed by them. i hope to hear this soon....

X3r6x
June 18th 2006



2 Comments


is tis the jap mono or eng mono? lol i'm confused mi m8 send mi mono's too! but i dun kno which mono is mono ere so can sum1 tell mi whether mono had an album known as n do dey hav a song called kidnapper bell?????????

X3r6x
June 18th 2006



2 Comments


known as under the pipal tree sry i missed dat out

Justanothernimrod
June 18th 2006



478 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yeah this is the japanese mono and one of their earlier albums is "under the pipal tree"

Kage
July 20th 2006



1173 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Why the hell did I not know Mono came out with a new album? They're one of my favorite bands.

Killer review, I must hear this.

thunderzstruck
October 1st 2006



148 Comments


aamazing album
are you there? is so beautiful and haunting

cholx
November 2nd 2006



5 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Just an all around warm and beautiful experience. Love this album, one of my all time favorites.

rhyno
November 28th 2006



28 Comments


I just ordered this album yesterday. Even from sampling it on itunes i can tell its gonna be good.

ddrfreak62
December 9th 2006



106 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is my first Post-rock album, and it was awesome. I cant believe i have never listened to this genre of music before. I didnt think i would be able to get into it without vocals, but its just awesome. I play guitar and this album just completely inspired me musically

Confessed2005
May 23rd 2007



3314 Comments


Being a huge post rock fan I should definitely try this.

A friend of mine said it was some of the best in the genre.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy