Review Summary: Dutch indie rockers avoid sophomore slump with We Only Part to Meet Again
Even though Mister and Mississippi was created for a school project at the Herman Brood Academie in Utrecht, before they really knew each other, the band always showed a great chemistry in their music. It’s an important strength in their music, together they create a certain atmosphere that just works. This atmosphere was already a bit shown in Mister and Mississippi’s breakthrough single “Northern Sky”, and now they improve it further in We Only Part To Meet Again
A very noticeable difference from Mister and Mississippi
, their self titled debut, is that Maxime Barlag and Samgar Lemuёl Jacobs are not really a co-singers anymore (Jacobs only sings lead on “For Us To Remember”), something they definitely were on their debut. This isn’t necessary a bad thing though, Barlag’s voice is perfectly suited for the sound of this album. Another difference is that in We Only Part to Meer Again
Mister and Mississippi somewhat stray off from the folk influence from their debut. With an addition of strings and horns they go for a bit more bombastic sound.
Highlight is easily the penultimate track “For Us to Remember”, which is a gorgeously structured epic with a patient build-up and a satisfying climax. During the climax, violins raise, while Samgar beautifully sings “learn how to breathe
”, over and over, it is without a doubt the most magical moment on the album, the moment where Mister and Mississippi reach for the stars and succeed. Not to say that the rest of the album isn’t good, in fact: We Only Part to Meet Again
is extremely solid. From the catchy lead single “Meet Me at the Lighthouse”, the heartfelt ballad about Maxime Barlag’s mom’s death in the titletrack and the lovely closer “A Song for the Quiet Ones”(which serves as a nice aftermath from “For Us to Remember”) everywhere the album has a sort of relaxing atmosphere that never fails. The album loses a bit of its steam in the middle section, though, none of the tracks are bad, but they don’t really hold the attention either. Especially “Where the Wild Things Grow” springs to mind; the song remains mostly uninteresting with its boring chorus.
In the end, We Only Part to Meet Again
feels like a more matured version of Mister and Mississippi
, the lyrics and instrumentation are more varied and interesting. It isn’t better per se (I actually think the debut is a bit better), but it definitely feels like the band put more thought into this album. As a whole We Only Part to Meet Again
is a excellent indie rock album with strong instrumentation and vocals with a cool atmosphere, and is worth checking out for every fan of the genre.