Review Summary: Two great new songs and two forgettable remixes of the title track - get the former and don’t bother with the latter.
It’s been about three years since alt-rockers Mute Math released their full-length debut, and the growing fanbase it’s helped accumulate has had close to nothing else to tide them over since then. Sure, there’s their first EP (half of which was integrated into the full-length), and most everyone who’s seen the “Typical” video enjoys it (most who don’t ignorantly claim it’s too much like “The Scientist”), but there comes a point when you want, no, you need
a new album. How does your average band attempt to remedy this" Why, with an EP of course!
The Spotlight EP
starts off (unsurprisingly) with the title track, an energetic main single candidate in the same vein as “Typical”. Based around an elegantly simple guitar part, sampled clapping and oh-so-catchy “ah ah ah”’s, it’s exactly the kind of song that record executives hope will boost album sales (note that I don’t necessarily mean this is a bad thing). Even though the initially catchy “ah ah ah”’s start to get annoying toward the end of the song, “Spotlight” nonetheless represents Mute Math in their most accessible, simple and fun state, without the experimentation that made their debut even more interesting. “Clockwork” keeps this energy going…for the most part. Although not as energetic and not an “obvious single”, the track represents another delightfully straightforward alt-rock song. Pretty good, but certainly nothing special.
And then the remixes. It seems all too rare that remixes tacked on to pad out a record end up working, and these are in no way exceptions. “Earlylight” doesn’t do much to ruin the original version of the song, but is still basically a gimmick. Son Lux’s version isn’t much better, in fact, it just might be worse. Essentially, his remix is the original with the vocals put through a filter for the first half and then a bastardization of the song after that. One honestly has to wonder if the band themselves actually approved of these.
And that’s pretty much all there is to say about the Spotlight EP
. The two new original songs are quite good, but the remixes border on being painful at times. While they’re probably not enough to tide us over until a full album arrives, “Spotlight” and “Clockwork” are nonetheless worth $1.99 on whatever online music store you prefer to use, so to definitely get them if you like the band. Just make sure to skip the rest.
Spotlight – 3.5/5
Clockwork – 3.5/5
Earlylight – 2.5/5
Spotlight (Son Lux remix) – 2.5/5