Mew

No More Stories Are Told Today I’m Sorry They Washed Away No More Stories the World Is Grey…

Columbia

Sep 09, 2009 Issue #27 Summer 2009 - Jarvis Cocker Bookmark and Share


Don't let the cumbersome album title or the pictographic clown-butterfly intermezzos fool you. Danish trio Mew is surely grandiose, but still a few concept albums shy of bat-shit crazy. In fact, No More Stories is fairly tame in comparison to 2005's labyrinthine and gloomy song suite, And the Glass Handed Kites. Where Kites stockpiled instrumentation, No More Stories cuts the fat and makes do with the group's new orientation (bassist Johan Wohlert left the band to concentrate on fatherhood).

Jonas Bjerre, Bo Madsen, and Silas Utke Graae Jørgensen have forged onward in some remarkable ways. No More Stories starts with the tick of a clock on opener "New Terrain," but quickly reverts to Kites' warped haze as a din of vocals, cymbal crashes, and guitars coalesce and vie for our attention. Inaugural single, "Introducing Palace Players," starts largely as a virtuoso instrumental breakdown-drums and guitars lurch and stutter in unison as washes of keyboard fill in the gaps. Singer Bjerre's falsetto is securely attached to the constellations here. The lush space rockers "Beach" and "Hawaii," and the repeated piano on "A Dream," are as simple and straightforward as this trio will likely get. They're all very welcome after Kites' infamous impenetrability.

The ambitious "Sometimes Life Isn't Easy" may be the only logjam of ideas here. Cramming an elderly vocalist, an engorged handclap bridge, and a choir into a five-minute track may be too much for some. Despite this one quibble, No More Stories' closest cousin is Mew's other primary daydream-inducing album, breakthrough Frengers. So when a mesmerizing, fragile song like "Cartoons and Macramé Wounds" references the intricate art of knot decorating, it's also a suitable metaphor for the music Mew creates. No More Stories is the most intricate batch of songs they've produced but practical enough for daily listening. (www.mewsite.com)

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