Review Summary: They sure are, John!Songs
is a bleak contradiction to the pink hue sported on the album cover. Where that initial atmosphere feels serene and vibrant, the album itself is twisted and contorted, a dark ride through the mind of our tortured protagonist. Instrumentally, there are certainly some broad spots of delightful synth-pop worthy of this vibrant hue (for example, the ethereal instrumentation in Through the Sky’s For You
which is absolutely gorgeous). However, it’s the perverse nature of the lyrics, the often-uncomfortable atmosphere, the dark-baritone groans of near-insanity from our conductor which stand tall, juxtaposing this bright art. Touted here are particularly poignant lines such as ‘sex inside of car, sex with movie star, sex with Ringo Starr’ or a personal favourite of mine, ‘oh my, grandmas peed her pants again, oh my, grandmas peed her pants, and I got it on my hand’. Maus was destined for poetic paradise. Each song on the album is so delightfully twisted and original in its own standout way, Just Wait Till Next Year
is the perfect example of this gorgeous, but perverted sound working in all aspects; the production and instrumentation here are eerie, the lyrics dark and the vocals’ perfectly unperfect. It’s a formula which keeps the album separate from all others, a truly esoteric sound, unlike any other.
It’s quite amazing how throughout the entire 16 song journey, no song really stands out as not worthy of its place here. Sure, some songs shine brighter than others. Songs like Time to Die
and the aforementioned Just Wait Till Next Year
belong in the same top tier of Synth-Pop worship which inspired this album, but they all have their place. [i]Songs[i] is genuinely beautiful at times; conceptual grandma piss and all its dirt aboard, the synth-induced train ride through sonic insanity is one worth hopping on.