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Mace & Crown | September 24, 2017

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Monarch Music Minute: The Script, LCD Soundsystem, Mogwai

Adam Flores | Senior Writer

The Script – ‘Freedom Child’ 💿💿💿💿💿

Courtesy Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited

Irish pop rock outfit The Script released their fifth studio album, “Freedom Child.” On hiatus since 2014’s “No Sound Without Silence,” the band has returned appearing to have shed their once Celtic folk-rock roots in favor of unashamed, power pop rock hues.

“Rain,” released back on July 14, was the lead single from their new, 14-track set. “Written in the Scars,” “Love Not Lovers” and the heartfelt saga “Arms Open” present The Script’s new sound and voice with carefully calculated and balanced production that is not over-the-top. Each track flows into the next presenting an infectious narrative choreographed by predictable, yet catchy melodic hooks.

What is unpredictably pleasant are the quirky rhythmic shifts as found within such tracks as “Mad Love” and “Eden.” “Make Up” pleads for self-acceptance as frontman Danny O’Donoghue croons, “No, you don’t need makeup to cover your scars up / You’re beautiful now, within and without, and never forget / You’re doing me proud.”

“Divided States of America” and the title track define the new record’s main themes in identifying terrorism and division while addressing the need for peace.

“Freedom Child” is a welcome addition to the pop rock genre with its musical balance and story.

Stream the album on Spotify here.


LCD Soundsystem – ‘american dream’ 💿💿💿💿💿

Courtesy Excelsior Equity Management of NY

After a near five-year nonexistence, LCD Soundsystem have reunited and returned with “american dream,” their fourth studio album and first record since 2010’s “This Is Happening.” The return has paid off for the American new wave/synth pop/art rock group as the new album debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart.

“Call the Police” and “American Dream” were released together as the lead single back on May 5. “Tonite” was the second single released on Aug. 16. Prior to “american dream’s” release, the group embarked on a reunion tour playing large music festivals and smaller shows.

“american dream” carries the dance-punk/new wave/post-punk/synth pop/art rock vibe from the onset with lead track, “Oh Baby.” Overall, it has been hailed by critics as a resemblance to David Bowie’s “Berlin Trilogy.”

Closing track “Black Screen” pays homage to Bowie. Frontman James Murphy wanted to enlist Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen to perform a spoken word piece toward the end of the cut. Unfortunately, Cohen passed away days after the initial idea came to Murphy.

The 10-track offering explores depression, fear and social issues, yet bounces back with happy endings of heroes, friendships and love. “american dream” personifies art rock at its best.

Stream the album on Spotify here.

 


Mogwai – ‘Every Country’s Sun’ 💿💿💿

Courtesy Temporary Residence Ltd.

Scottish post-rock band Mogwai’s ninth studio release, “Every Country’s Sun,” is their follow-up to 2016’s instrumental soundtrack, “Atomic,” for the Mark Cousins’ documentary, “Atomic, Living in Dread and Promise.”

Lead track “Coolverine” highlights what Mogwai is best known for in instrumental music. Providing an ethereal soundscape reliant on synths and guitars, “Sun’s” subsequent tracks reflect mood-setting, musical explorations that do not rely on an urgent set of preconceived notions. Each track drifts and brings the listener into a new place almost effortlessly.

“Party in the Dark” and “1000 Foot Face” offer a glimpse of vocal treatments in the mix, yet are somewhat distant and more as effect as the instruments still hold a commanding presence in the arrangements. The last three selections, “Battered At a Scramble,” “Old Poisons” and the title track closer bring on tension giving “Every Country’s Sun” an ending, sonic roar.

The 11-track collective offers many mood setters musically and as a whole, can stand alone as another movie soundtrack, yet is somewhat difficult to follow when a melody appears to be a much-needed element. There are some great grooves set up by various guitars and keyboards, yet lack melody to take ideas to new places.

 

[Album Cover Credit]

Courtesy Temporary Residence Ltd.

Stream the album on Spotify here.


Rating System:

– Face palm. 💿

– Eh… 💿💿

– We’re getting there. 💿💿💿

 – I’ll listen to it twice, even. 💿💿💿💿

– Hell yes! 💿💿💿💿💿