Singularity Review

artist: Mae date: 08/24/2007 category: compact discs

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Mae: Singularity
Release Date: Aug 14, 2007
Label: Capitol
Genres: Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock
Number Of Tracks: 12
The loud guitars and whining melodies invoke classic artists before them, but something that defines Mae is lost on this album.
 Sound: 8
 Lyrics: 8.5
 Overall Impression: 8
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reviews (2) 15 comments vote for this album:
overall: 8
Singularity Reviewed by: UG Team, on august 14, 2007
0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: A Singularity is the point in a black hole where the pull of gravity is so great, that everything getting sucked in is compressed to a mass no bigger than an atom. Mae liked that an author used it to describe the ultimate unknowable in science, the interface between the natural and the supernatural. They define their album Singularity as about stepping back to see a bigger picture. It is about struggling to see yourself as an important part of that picture. It's also unintentionally about falling short while trying to create a modern rock record. The guitars have a processed sheen to them, layered and made to sound like a cohesive unit. This is an approach used by bands like Smashing Pumpkins and Nine Inch Nails to make a six-string sound like a semi hitting you in the head; Mae uses it to sound like someone poking you with a single finger. The punctuated rhythms on Sic Semper Tyrannis give more contrast, and in turn help to bring out the wall of sound in the chorus, but that's one song. Elkins and fellow guitarist Zach Gehring's efforts for the most part aren't enough to fill your headphones, unless you turn them up very loudly and press them into your head. Keyboardist Rob Sweitzer serves to try to add melody to the chord changes the two guitars grind out, but feels unnecessary, as he rarely gets the opportunity to shine solo. // 8

Lyrics: Singer/guitarist Dave Elkin's voice attempts to be melodic and gentle, but comes through the speakers more like a whine. It has to be doubled on choruses to match the rising wall of guitars. On Crazy 8, you can hear him attempting to sing from his gut to get the extra push to fill space when the rest of the band drops out. There's a few different schools to rock lyrics. One is to spell out a story using a specific plot to invoke some kind of memory or feeling in the listener. Another is to use words and phrases that don't really link together, but result in some kind of overall mood. This is the school Mae is a part of. // 8

Overall Impression: Singularity is Mae's third album, which means they get some leeway. This is a recording of a band not completely sure what their sound is. The loud guitars and whining melodies invoke classic artists before them, but something that defines Mae is lost on this album. Listen to this disc if you find it playing somewhere over the radio or at your local mall, but wait until Mae fully comes together to put your money down. This singularity is too disjointed. // 8

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overall: 8.3
Singularity Reviewed by: sweetpeasuzie, on august 24, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 8

Lyrics: 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. // 9

Overall Impression: 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. // 8

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