Jagwar Ma: Every Now & Then (Mom + Pop) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Jagwar Ma

Every Now & Then

Mom + Pop

Oct 14, 2016 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

On their debut record, 2013’s Howlin’, Jagwar Ma dedicated themselves to a hyper-pop sound built from nostalgic ‘90s Manchester club beats and melodic psychedelic pop songs. It was a decent enough record, but hasn’t really left an impression. So is their sophomore effort, Every Now & Then, an improvement on Howlin’? Not entirely. Jagwar Ma prove they can pull off the same tricks as their debut, which is why it also shares many of the same flaws.

It is true that the production on Every Now & Then is impressively crisp and expansive, a record that rewards decent speakers or headphones. And sure, Jagwar Ma’s appeal might be based solely on how good these records sound; vibrant, energetic, bursting with hazy synths that bounce up against infectious beats, like Animal Collective throwing a rave. But there’s a real lack of substance that prevents any of these tracks from really sticking.

As slick as this production is, the atmosphere on this record is sometimes hard to absorb beneath the constant rhythm, and the occasional moments when the music is allowed to slow down and breathe are refreshing. But most of the time the persistence of the dance vibe just overwhelms the tracks, and no matter how interesting any song component may be, they just don’t work cohesively.

In fact, the album works best when the layers are little more scarce, like on “Batter Up,” a shorter track that stands out because it is more focused and steady than the typical collision of ideas that make up the bulk of this record. Truthfully, with as much talent as there is in Jagwar Ma, and their comfort with experimentation and skill in the studio, there’s no reason to not expect a great record from this band. Unfortunately, this one is just not it. (www.jagwarma.com)

Author rating: 6.5/10

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Average reader rating: 5/10


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