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Mum - Summer Make Good (2004) Retail CD
Imagine a snowy, ice-crusted clearing, with the clear cold moon shining down on it. Now imagine a bunch of ghosts and otherworldly sprites creeping into the clearing, and singing like ominous children.
That about describes the wintry sound of "Summer Make Good," which tries out a very different sound for Icelandic band Múm -- more ambient, more vocal, and more melodic than electronic. Basically, the band sounds like the slightly creepy little sister of Sigur Ros... not that that's a bad thing at all.
It opens with "Hú Hviss - A Ship," which is pretty skippable -- it's basically a spookymore… horn and various creakings. But fortunately that moves into "Nightly Cares," a lullabyesque ballad with soft, ghostly vocals, and the icy, meandering electronica of "The Ghosts You Draw on My Back."
From there on, Mum noodle through expanses of ice, night, spaciness and static, with gently wandering melodies topped with electronic glitches. They dabble in more typical pop music in the crystalline "Island of Children's Child", but always slip back into music that sounds airy and creepy, with a sweep of electronica keeping the ambience grounded. And this one has an additional song -- the eerie, synth-edged "Abandoned Ship Bells," which is more of the same.
This is not an album to be comfortable to. Listen to it while you sleep, and you'll have dreams about being lost in the snow. Instead it's a long experiment, with vocals in all of their songs, and a more ambient, dreamlike sound that is usually associated with Sigur Ros.
It's very different from their previous work, but only occasionally does it fail to be good. The instrumentation is simply stunning and very creepy -- there's mellotron, synth, and soft drums and guitars gently wafting in and out. I never knew a banjo could sound so incredibly weird. The only weakness of this album is that in some of the shorter songs ("Away," for example) Mum sounds like they were just noodling for the sake of noodling.
This album is also notable for having vocals in pretty much all of the songs, save a few. I'm not sure who is singing, but it sounds like a ghostly little girl, or perhaps a wistful sprite. "... plays a sad old song/I hope tonight/You will touch my hair/and draw ghosts on my back," she croons over stretches of winding synth.
"Summer Make Good" is meant to be an experiment, and if its goal is to be wintry, sleepy and compelling, then it was a success. Just don't look for Mum's "usual" sound in this.
|1||Hu Hviss - A Ship|
|2||Weeping Rock, Rock|
|4||The Ghosts You Draw on My Back|
|6||Sing Me Out the Window|
|7||The Islands Childrens Children|
|8||Oh, How the Boats Drift|
|9||Small Deaths Are the Saddest|
|10||Will the Summer Make Good for All Our Sins?|
|11||Abandoned Ship Bells|
- Mum - Summer Make Good (2004) Retail CD
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- 18/05/08 by misty01
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