Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Multi-Love


4.0
excellent

Review

by jtswope USER (96 Reviews)
June 29th, 2015 | 20 replies


Release Date: 05/26/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Multi-Love is a wonderfully varied and textured slice of psych-pop weirdness.

For an album as alluring sonically as Multi-Love is, there are still a few things lurking beneath the soil. Songwriter Ruban Nielson airs out his dirty laundry as he expands upon the vulnerability and emotional tumult that accompanies the concurrent existence of multiple romantic relationships. Where the album excels, however, is keeping the mood high above the surface with candy-coated melodies, delightful hooks, and a keen sense of pysch-pop revivalism.

The title track is the perfect introduction to Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s wondrous songwriting. Nielson’s lyrics explore the destructive effects of polyamory as the band blends tuneful bass with bouncy keyboards. The production has a nostalgic flair and an analog sensibility that enriches the band’s sound. As a result, Unknown Mortal Orchestra take advantage of their ability to tiptoe into styles like funk, R&B, and disco on tracks like “Necessary Evil”, which also has one of the most memorable hooks the band has penned yet.

Similar to 2014’s Pom Pom, Multi-Love has a fantastic pop immediacy, but it also dares to be bizarre. Never knowing which side of the coin will dominate the song keeps the songs compelling. The drug-addled “Like Acid Rain” is a pithy pop gem with an incredibly danceable rhythm, whereas “Ur Life One Night” and “Extreme Wealth and Casual Cruelty” are more warped and sprawling. Nielson’s vocal delivery certainly pays tribute to artists like Prince, but his performance is never restrained by these influences. Whether he’s hitting a falsetto or gently crooning, he brings plenty of spirit to an already stimulating backdrop. Furthermore, tracks like “Stage or Screen” lock into shameless grooves infused with colorful mixing.

However, the album is not quite as cohesive as it tries to be, and some of the experimental detours Unknown Mortal Orchestra takes are occasionally less exciting. Nonetheless, some of the more intriguing detours are saved for the closing track “Puzzles”, which is more rock-oriented than most of the tracks. Its wayward guitar riffs have a garage-rock feel to them and a rawness that sharpens a nice edge for the album. Though there are a few underwhelming moments on the LP, the majority of Multi-Love is instantaneously enjoyable and detailed to a degree that rewards handsomely.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s third album is stacked with some of the best and most infectious songs of the year. Though it is decidedly a retrospective release, the band tactfully incorporates the variety of musical styles in a way that is noticeably modern. What ultimately emerges is something thought-provoking and sexy. Nielson’s world might be dissolving around him, but his music has only become richer.

Favorite Tracks:
Like Acid Rain
Necessary Evil
Multi-Love
Extreme Wealth and Casual Cruelty



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user ratings (140)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
psandy
June 28th 2015


280 Comments


Very nice review. Been spinning this for the past few weeks, fckin love it

apokolypz
June 29th 2015


489 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yes, it's fucking good

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
June 29th 2015


26819 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review.

This really is great.

LordePots
June 29th 2015


38563 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

album is gud. first album will always be best tho

Digging: Blondes - Warmth

Phlegm
June 30th 2015


7241 Comments


love this album, a lot of replay value

Phlegm
July 14th 2015


7241 Comments


necessary evil tbh

AmericanFlagAsh
November 13th 2015


8656 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Necessary Evil and the title track are the only songs I cared for

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
November 13th 2015


26819 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Most of the songs are on near enough the same level quality wise for me. Hard to pick a standout.

wtferrothorn
Contributing Reviewer
November 13th 2015


5779 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

My favorites are the titles track, Ur Life One Night, Can't Keep Checking My Phone, and Puzzles. This album is just so lovely. and groovy.

Sinternet
November 13th 2015


15055 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great bump. Love this band, Can't Keep Checking My Phone is such a jam. Second album is still my favourite though.

Digging: TWICE - Twicetagram

wtferrothorn
Contributing Reviewer
November 13th 2015


5779 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

haven't checked their previous stuff. what's it like?

Sinternet
November 13th 2015


15055 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

pretty similar tbh, they haven't changed much. I'd say their earlier ones were slightly more mellow/spacey than this one

wtferrothorn
Contributing Reviewer
April 16th 2016


5779 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

needed reminder that this is groovy goodness

Anthracks
April 19th 2016


6078 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This still gets better on every listen. Now my favorite UMO album.

Digging: Anima Damnata - Nefarious Seed...

jtswope
August 16th 2016


5677 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

👍 👍

Sinternet
August 16th 2016


15055 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good bump

jtswope
August 16th 2016


5677 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, couldn't help it. This still gets me.

p4p
January 20th 2017


1959 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Messed with Poly and Marie, Took Some Xany and Addy

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
May 31st 2017


20084 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

cant keep checking my phone gives me goosebumps hard

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
October 21st 2017


20084 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

MYYY PHO O ONE

fucking so good



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