Sound — 8
Mae, the acronym for Multisensory Aesthetic Experience, creates a multi-sensory experiences filled with brazen rock and melodic pop aesthetics on their third album Singularity, making their debut on a major label. Produced by Howard Benson (My Chemical Romance, Relient K, Saosin), the album is an avalanche of hard rock tunage and vocally driven melodies that incorporate elements of pop-punk and emo properties reflective of Sugarcult and Rookie Of The Year. The music can be lumped in with so many other bands in this ilk of hard rock but with Mae what stands out are the vocal melodies of singer/guitarist Dave Elkins who takes hold of the reins. His vocal leads distinguishes Mae from others even though the music can fall into a generic brand of hard rock. Hailing from Virginia Beach, Mae also includes drummer Jacob Marshall, bassist Mark Padgett, keyboardist Rob Sweitzer, and guitarist Zach Gehring. The album demonstrates layers of harmonies where no one stands over anyone else. The mingling of guitars and keyboards produces a wide screen effect on tracks like Brink Of Disaster and Sometimes I Can't Make It Alone. A wing-span of guitar flourishes are integrated with the pumped up rhythms forming a large sonic mass that is intercepted by lapses of softer moods. The band lays out a handful of pop punk-laden numbers like Crazy 8's, Telescopes, and Waiting with expert salience. It's imaginable that the band could play these songs in their sleep. Mae dips into softcore melodic pop hues on Just Let Go, Release Me, and Reflections which are reminiscent of the band's music from their earlier albums like their first disc on Tooth & Nail Records Destination Beautiful in 2003 and their second disc The Everglow in 2005. The band's girth of classic and modern rock textures in tow with Elkins winsome vocal sweeps gives the songs relevance.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics are poetic, enigmatic, and profound while the rhythms are uplifting. That upbeat vibe adds meaning to Mae's pop-punk grooves like on Sic Semper Tyrannis when Elkins prophesizes about a doomed fate as he tolls, All hands on deck we're going down/ Screaming, the end is near/ So rest in peace cause we're the ones that put ourselves here/ Water rises now hold your breath and count down/ This ship of sinners and saints are just waiting to drown.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall, the album has more generic rock complexions than the band's previous albums. This makes it more commercial sounding for use on radio, TV, and film, although the bonus track breaks away from this direction and gives fans a more acoustic folk rock blend and an intimate feel with the band. The album's dichotomy attracts a wide audience from Nickelback to Nick Lachey. It's an album that is enjoyable and provides a satisfying ending.