The Moon & Antarctica
*Truly Ninja*, on december 26, 2003 2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: On Modest Mouse's sell-out record, there are lots of acoustic parts mixed with trippy studio effects, not the least of which is the hendrix "backwards guitars" technique, which is most prominent on the second track, "Gravity Rides Everything". Although the record, for the most part, sounds good, there are no real innovations musically. Akin to My Bloody Valentine, lots of stuido filters are put onto both the sounds of the instruments and the vocals, which all ends up being pretty cool. // 6
Lyrics: The lyrics are incredibly cool. From the nonchalant tragedy of "Wild Pack of Family Dogs" to the outer space musings of tacks like "3rd Planet" and "Dark Centre of the Universe", all the lyrics are near-perfect and they match up witht eh sound of the instruments just right. On other records, Modest Mouse are notorious for screaming all the time, but on this record they follow the golden mean and the screaming never seems frivolous. The singer's habit of half-mumbling the lyrics poses a small problem. It akes you desperately want to look up the lyrics on some website. I would reccommend UGO's own letssing it.com, because once you do this your enjoyment of the record will skyrocket. // 10
Overall Impression: Like I said before, this is Mouse's sell-out record, so you might presume that it will be overproduced. For all my indie friends, just because its on a major label doesn't affect their sound. This album is, in fact, the best Modest Mouse record. The most impressive songs are "3rd Planet", "Dark Centre of the Universe", "Tiny Cities Made of Ashes" and "Wild Pack of Family Dogs". This album is worth all self-respecting hipsters' fifteen bucks. For all you punkers and metalheads...you may not be ready yet. Everyone else, go out to your indie record store and nuy this album. Now. I mean it. // 10
The Moon & Antarctica
a_rush_of_blood, on december 08, 2005 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Modest Mouse's third album, The Moon and Antarctica, is one of those rare, rare records that comes along and changes music. Like OK Computer of a few years earlier, it shows unabated creativity and unparalleled genius. The Moon And Antarctica is a study of life through the eyes of a fictional charachter named Edgar Graham, who supposedly was a rabid fan of the band and sent his demos and notebooks full of songs to them. Edgar Graham is Isaac Brock. Brocks twisted view on the world is the main theme on the album, with bouncy basslines, wild drumming and addictive guitar riffs pushing his message. // 10
Lyrics: Isaac Brock is genius. Raised in the desolacy of North Western America, Brock developed the view that is shown in this album. Third Planet deals with loss, while Wild Pack of Family Dogs tells the story of a boys family being torn apart by a pack of dogs. What People Are Made Of is possible one of the angriest songs ever written, while Paper Thin Walls is the exact opposite, despite Brock venting his anger about the press during his rape allegation. // 10
Overall Impression: The Moon and Antarctica is undoubtedly a brilliant album. It is hard to do it justice when reviewing it. From the darkness of Perfect Disguise to the carefree attitude of Gravity Rides Everything and the spaciness of Life Like Weeds and Stars Are Projectors, to the downright rock of A Different City, What People Are Made Of and Dark Centre Of The Universe, The Moon And Antarctica is a perfect rock album. // 10
The Moon & Antarctica
DownInAHole., on september 30, 2006 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: If you haven't heard Modest Mouse before but are intrigued, this is the album to buy. Modest Mouse is an unusual band, and it can be kind of hard to get into their music. Most of their other albums are not very accessible, and some of it is hard to even call music at all. While Good News For People Who Love Bad News is also a bit easier to get into, it's just not as good as The Moon & Antarctica. Modest Mouse kind of sounds like what would happen if you took some instruments and made sounds on them until something sounded good, and then someone really talented pasted them together into coherent songs but put weird twists on them just for fun. On this album the resulting melodies are easier to get to like. Isaac Brock's voice is used particularly effectively (and generally not annoyingly) here. It may get on your nerves, though. Here's roughly what the tracks are like:
01. 3rd Planet - flows along smoothly and sweetly (as much as Modest Mouse ever does), rather relaxing song and very good.
02. Gravity Rides Everything - was used in an advertisement, similar in feel to the first track but more of a strumming theme.
03. Dark Center Of The Universe - starts to get odd, moves between an ethereal, calm and twangy section and a chanted/screaming chorus.
04. Perfect Disguise - laid-back song, not much momentum.
05. Tiny Cities Made Of Ashes - driven by percussion and bass, with strange distorted vocals, a bit of respite from some normal-sounding guitar... definitely takes some time to get to like this one.
06. A Different City - first real rocking song on the album, with a focus on guitar and an excellent group-yell chorus.
07. The Cold Part - drawn out and melodic, mostly instrumental and heavy use of strings, effectively evokes an empty frozen land with it's echo.
08. Alone Down There - rocks like A Different City, starts off rather surreal, but then hits you with vocals and then breaks into a powerful guitar riff.
09. The Stars Are Projectors - epic song. Starts off sounding much like Pink Floyd, then flows smoothly into a melodic section, rises to a crescendo, tapers off into something softer, and rises a couple more times before gently fading out.
10. Wild Packs Of Family Dogs - quiet, folksy and very melody-based, with cowbells and accordion, very unusual lyrics though.
11. Paper Thin Walls - straightforward indie/alternative song, with discordant interludes.
12. I Came As A Rat - difficult song to describe, a focus on the vocals for the first half, and then meandering guitars against tambourine for the second half.
13. Lives - particularly weird for the first half, and then breaks into a cheery song with acoustic guitar and strings for a bit, then moves back into oddity. Both this and the previous track are difficult to get into.
14. Life Like Weeds - philosophical and back to a bit epic, relaxing, with a great ending where you can close your eyes and let the song pull you away
15. What People Are Made Of - final song on the album proper, and a rather angry one, distorted vocals and driving music, brings the album to a forceful conclusion. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics have the quality of space poetry, very offbeat and not quite connected with the everyday world. They're a little frightening with their exploration of anger, loneliness and misery, but also quite beautiful in their brushes by the very edges of the universe (try listening to this while looking at fractal pictures), and the evocative wording ("And right after I die the dogs start floating up towards the glowing sky"). Issac Brock is a genius. // 9
Overall Impression: This is a must have Modest Mouse, as they are at their most masterful as musicians. Other good ones to check out are Lonesome Crowded West, Good News For People Who Love Bad News, and Sappy Sucker. This album is highly underrated and deserves some praise. If you want to hear creative music, by all means buy this album. If you are into stereotypical radio hits, then don't buy this one. I love it and if I lost it, I would more than likely buy it again. If you do happen to pick it up, you will definately enjoy it. // 8
The Moon & Antarctica
~ICE LEADER~, on november 29, 2007 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: It's incredible. I am a tagger, and I listen to a lot of rap, but no rap, or any other type of music, can compare with this album. The depth and meaning, the fealing, it is all there. They use tons of instruments, and they blend together in one melancholy, vibrant, or just plain cool sound. I love it. // 10
Lyrics: This is the important part. The lyrics are the most intense things I have ever heard in my life. Some of the things they say are just so real. There songs Dark Center of the Universe, Third Planet, and Lives are incredible. I can't help but feel there is some hidden meaning to what they say. And it's so great the way the lyrics and the music blend together in an airtight bond that makes you think about your life. There is one thing though. Although these songs are beautiful, they are very dark, and if you are sad, I daresay they might make you a lot sadder. I know, I've been there. The other thing is that these lyrics take some getting used to. If it's the first time, you wont appreciate what they are saying. don't give up on them, give it time. Just be warned, your life will beautifully but very sadly be affected. Except for Paper Thin Walls, this is not a very happy album. // 10
Overall Impression: I do not know of any other artists who even come close to Modest Mouse's The Moon and Antarctica, although I've heard they are a lot like Arcade Fire and The Starlight mints. The most impressive songs from the album(which will change your life if you take the time to understand them) are Third Planet, Gravity Rides Everything, Dark Center of The Universe, Lives, Life Like Weeds, A Different City, and The Stars Are Projectors. If I lost it, I would immediately replace it, even though it's f--ked up my life. Enjoy it though. // 10
The Moon & Antarctica
brettk8790, on may 08, 2009 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: One word to describe Modest Mouse is creative. This album depicts originality and creative wisdom as the trio delivers a more acoustic major label debut with songs surrounding the topic or mortality and the universe. The idea about the album was to make a dense, mellow album with some sparks added in some tracks. It's pretty safe to say that this indie band is far from overrated, and may even get you captured after the first few songs are done with. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics are the strongest part of The Moon & Antarctica by far. The album's first track "3rd Planet" shows energy and caution at the same time through both the music and lyrics. Isaac Brock, the band's lead singer/songwriter writes lyrics that are deeper than any other of MM's albums. "Tiny City of Ashes" has a jumpy beat to make sure that the whole album isn't acoustic, as well as "Alone Down There". "Lives" is one of the strongest songs on the record, and it can really make you think about how life is really spent("It's hard to remember we're alive for the first time"). Overall, Brock's lyrics show listeners the way through a tale about life and the universe and sends a great vibe towards his audience.
Overall Impression: Modest Mouse delivers what could be their greatest album, not only for them, but for fellow indie bands. If you are curious about this crazy world we live in, pick up this CD and the answer may come through one of their songs. What I love most about this album is the lyrics and the progression through the songs. Right when you think the song is over, it can pick up again and surprise you. I cannot say I have any negative aspects towards this album. If it were stolen/lost, I'd have to go out and buy it again, and it would be worth every penny. // 10