Most fans of Mae had to be wondering what happened with the release of Singularity. The album gave the feeling to many that maybe the band was going to try to fit in more with other mainstream acts. Singularity wasn't terrible by any means, just lacking in comparison to Destination Beautiful and The Everglow. When I heard Mae was planning to release three EPs using their name as an acronym, I have to say I was skeptical at the least. Mae has proven me immensely wrong.
(m)orning was a solid release and a throwback to the older sounds of Mae. (a)fternoon follows suit and does not disappoint. For some reason, when bands like Metallica write seven minute long songs, I feel that the song could have easily been half as long and twice as good. That is not the case with Mae. For the most part, I find myself wondering how seven minutes has just passed and looking to hear more. In two short EPs, Mae has managed to include four tracks over the seven minute mark.
Like (m)orning, the album begins and ends with an instrumental/sound effect track. "Good (A)fternoon" is a solid instrumental lead off to the album in which a minute and twenty seconds in turns into some one exiting their car and walking into a building while part of "Falling Into You" plays quietly in the background. "(A)fternoon in Eden" is simply crickets and light outside noise to close the album out.
"Over and Over" is a fantastic start as the first song (featuring lyrics) to the album. The song kicks off with a nice alt-rock guitar riff to grab your attention before shifting to an acoustic based verse. The catchy and upbeat verse leads back into an electric guitar driven chorus. The song eventually sounds off with a Weezer-esque guitar solo following the melody of the song. The tracks come to an end after a nearly two minute segment of different guitar work.
"Pieces" is a solid addition reminiscent of "Painless" and, at times, "Suspension" from The Everglow. The song talks about a failed relationship with lyrics such as, "We always used to fight the record that we kept of wrongs and rights would lock us there inside; you turned and walked away and left me picking pieces off the ground in scattered disarray." The song, however, does end on a positive note. "The Cure" slows the album down and runs directly into the nearly five minute long stringed instrumental, "Falling Into You." At first listen, "Falling Into You" might seem repetitive and a waste of a track for the short EP, but if you sit back, relax, and listen to the beauty of it, you just might fall in love with the track. The track is drenched in what Mae is at the core: A group of talented song writers and musicians with a profound love for music.
"The Fight Song (Crash and Burn)" and "Communication" are the two songs that top seven minutes in length. "Communication" is a favorite on the album and tells a story of music. Elkins tells of the only "hand-me-down" given to him by his dad: A music cup. He expresses his ungratefulness and confusion for the "gift," but later finds it is the only thing that can quench his thirst. This song describes a strong love for music and how it has molded his life and the love clearly shows. "The Fight Song (Crash and Burn)" is pretty self explanatory; The title and lyrics say it all. Although the music remains interesting for the entire seven minutes, you forget you are listening to the same song. The large middle section of the song meanders off for a while before coming back to the chorus. The track is the weakest on the album, but this is such a strong outing that calling it the weakest does not necessarily mean it is a bad song.
It would be a difficult task for Mae to top The Everglow, but they are making a solid effort to do so. If you were scared off by Singularity, give Mae another shot. Check out (m)orning for sure, but don't forget about (a)fternoon. If Mae continues on this path, one can only imagine how good (e)vening will be.- Review date: 4/9/10, written by Michael Weaver of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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