Sound — 10
The Most Serene Republic haven't ventured far from their last album, "Underwater Cinematographer", as far as sound is concerned, but they have found a cleaner, more polished way of presenting their music. Many different forms of insturmentation are found on this CD, and are presented in many creative ways. Songs such as the indie exploding opener "Humble Peasants" races along with a whistling sample as horns, guitars, and drums along with other barrages of insturments keep along with it, playing well thought up and original lines. Another track that finds it's own place in the musical world while being more accessible to the everyday music lover is the five minute plus epic "Present of Future End". The dynamics of this track present it as one full of depth and experimentation, an acoustic guitar riff exploding into a full blown intro, driven by horns and a beating drum line. Time signature wise, this is one of the few tracks that does not see much experimentation, as opposed to the song "Solipsism Millionaires", which proves that they can keep up with just about any math rock band, and also brings to light some of the jazz influences. Tracks like "A Mix of Sun and Cloud" and "Agenbite of Inwit" show their playful jazzy nature, not quite brought out in their debut, but brought to light here. You can also not over look the great, skill full playing of piano and keyoards by Ryan Lenssen, as it is he who makes songs like the aforementioned "Solipsism Millionaires" and the album ender "Neurasthenia". Overall they are full of experimentation, making one incredibly intense and very well sounding record.
Lyrics — 9
Main singers Adrian Jewett and Emma Ditchburn skillfully tackle their lyrical writing business in some of the, for lack of a better word, smartest ways possible, in both word choice and topic. In the song "Present of Future End" they reminisce of times when socializing wasn't done via the internet, "When talking involved mouth not hands/Acute and Obtuse/A computer can beat this romance". "Battle Hymn of the Republic" questions our ambitions, and becoming used to aiming low in them ("How does one stay tall today with addiction to shortness?"). The lyrics of "Sherry and Her Butterfly Net" seem to speak of shortness of attention and difficulty maturing as a person. However, the lyrics written by this band are anything but straight forward, and therefore could be interpreted in various different ways, one of the things that makes this band stand out from the rest. As for singing, both Adrain and Emma have very pleasant and strong voices. They both sound much more polished and on key in this effort as opposed to the debut, not to say their debut was without its own charm.
Overall Impression — 10
Population is a highly complex album. At first listen, one may not understand all that is going on within it, but you soon learn to comprehend the perfectionists that have made it, down to the last "ding" of a bell. Instrumentally they have found a very comfortable set, and although they have been written off by many as yet another Broken Social Scene-esque band, they ring more to the table than what is first seen. If you are to check out this band, I would highly recommend the tracks "Humble Peasants", "Present of Future End", "Why So Looking Back?", and the awe inducing album closer "Neurasthenia". The last track starts off with an offbeat sample, leading into a creative drumline along with a soaring bass line and soft but accesible guitar lines. Ending out the album at the end of the track is one of the greatest piano lines ever written (yes, I said ever written), and an anthemic vocal melody to go with it. Overall, this album saw The Most Serene Repulic experimenting and going to new lengths, trying new things, and expanding their grasp of genres. This album is a basic must have for any fan of indie (although it is not limited only to fans of this genre, due to the band's influences from other genres), as it will definitely not disappoint.