AbsolutePunk.net
   Username
Password
 
Album Review
Hint: Follow a reviewer to be notified when they post reviews.
mewithoutYou- it's all crazy! it's all false! it's all... Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 6
Musicianship 8.5
Lyrics 9
Production 8.5
Creativity 8
Lasting Value 7
Reviewer Tilt 7
Final Verdict: 77%
Member Ratings
Vocals 9
Musicianship 8.38
Lyrics 9.5
Production 9.13
Creativity 9.88
Lasting Value 8.75
Reviewer Tilt 8.75
Average: 91%
Inside AP.net

mewithoutYou- it's all crazy! it's all false! it's all...

Reviewed by: xsinkshipsx (05/25/09)
mewithoutYou- it's all crazy! it's all false! it's all a dream! it's alright!
Record Label: Tooth & Nail
Release date: May 19th, 2009

Prior to the actual release of mewithoutYou’s fourth musical endeavor, It’s all crazy! It’s all false! It’s all a dream! It’s alright!, I was at a loss as to what to make of the hype that I had heard buzzing around the internet about the change of their sound. The first thing I had heard was the fact that they wrote the entire record with acoustic guitars. This obviously brings a completely different dynamic to the songwriting and is blatantly obviously on the new record. Everything is softer and mellower than anything they had done before. One could argue that is was a large jump from their previous records but at the same time if you really look at their body of work, they have gotten softer progressively coming from the post-punk of A→B [Life] to the moody, albeit catchy Brother, Sister. But out of all the things I had heard coming into this record, I found out that they would be singing throughout the entirety of the record, which for mewithoutYou, and maybe only mewithoutYou, that seemed like a strange idea. In case you haven’t heard of or know about mewithoutYou’s sound before, the one thing that holds them above most acts in their genre is really the vocal delivery. The poetry of Aaron Weiss is one that is arguably unmatched in the scene today, but not only that, his unique vocal delivery (instead of singing, he mostly hollers or does spoken word) is what makes mewithoutYou one of the most fresh and distinctive bands of their genre. The music isn’t half bad either; combining ambient guitar work, drumming that is unique unto itself, and some bass lines that are smoother than marble. All of this though, was about to change on May 19th.

The first thing that struck me about the record at first was the artwork. I myself am a vinyl collector and I’d say half the reason I do so is because I love the artwork. I think an album's artwork can express a different side of the record by making it more cohesive. And as I gazed at the brown piece of abstract art that is the cover I was struck by how well it fits the mood of the album. I think this is something mewithoutYou has always done well with their artwork. But as I looked inside and read the lyrics of this record (which with mwY is always something that is a journey unto itself), I was a little confused by what I saw. This time instead of finding the cries of a man drowning in self-doubt (Catch For Us The Foxes) or one that is expressive of an existential side of Christianity (Brother, Sister), I found stories. This was certainly different than what I was expecting. I was expecting something that I could find that I would connect with on a deeper level and all I got was some crazy tale about a crow, a fox, and a cookie. As I listened more, all I seemed to hear was absurd parables that for some reason featured every piece of fruit, food, and animal imaginable (see “the Fox, the Crow, and the Cookie” and “goodbye I!”). I really was at a loss as to what to think upon first listening.

Musically, there was a lot of acoustic guitar, like I had heard about before, but also there was a ton of horns and other various brass instruments and shakers and such that, as a die-hard mewithoutYou fan, I didn’t know if this is really want I wanted from this record. Everything seemed so different. Not to mention the fact that Weiss traded in his hollering for singing, which he can sing, but it was certainly a peculiar voice (see “Every Though a Though of You” and “Allah, Allah, Allah”).

So what was I to do? When sitting down to actually write this review, I was having a constant struggle as to whether to approach this from the bitter old fan who was going to play the “THEIR OLD STUFF WAS BETTER!” card or the fan who thinks that you can’t compare it to the old stuff and appreciate it for what it is. That dilemma is what plagues the fans of any band that changes their sound even in the slightest. And honestly, I hate both of those approaches. The “old school” fan is annoying because he can’t move forward, getting bitter over any amount of success and claiming that the stuff they loved in high school is the only good stuff (which, with certain bands, I am 100% guilty of that). But the other people annoy me as well. They embrace the new stuff by forgetting was came before it. So with this record I did some research and realized that the changes that they made, extreme, as they may seem, aren’t as extreme as I first perceived.

mewithoutYou’s acoustic guitar influence was ever present on Brother, Sister. If you look at a song like “In A Sweater Poorly Knit”, you could tell where they were going with this next record. Also, the singing aspect has been in mewithoutYou since the start, even if it was small (see “The Ghost” from A→B [Life]). The story telling was also there on Brother, Sister in songs like the one I already mentioned and “Messes of Men”. And lastly, their mellower vibe that you find on it’s all crazy! can be found no further than the spider trilogy that they did on Brother, Sister.

So after looking into mewithoutYou’s past and realizing that, though this album actually really isn’t much of a stretch, it was able to grow on me. And as I listened, I found the great one-liners and meaning within those parables (the most enjoyable I feel being “The Fox, The Crow, And The Cookie”). The music itself did take a little bit getting used to, and I found it slightly ironic that the album that mewithoutYou starts singing in is probably their least accessible.

It is hard to swallow this record upon the first few listens. Especially if you are as big of a fan of mewithoutYou as I am. And I feel like four albums in, you aren’t really making records to win over new fans or to impress anyone. You are strictly doing it for the love of music and self-expression. That seems to be the mood on this record. mewithoutYou has always been unique and different from anything else, and with this record take it to another level. So really the only way I can think to describe this cd and accurately say how I feel about it, is just to say it’s all crazy! and it’s alright!

Recommended If You LikemewithoutYou


Check out mewithoutYou on Myspace.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 15.
08:25 AM on 06/06/09
#2
timb89
Australian Music Roundup
Offline
User Info.
timb89's Avatar
i like that youve got a huge review
and become very lazy in the riyl section
08:38 AM on 06/06/09
#3
denissuxx
.
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
i like that youve got a huge review
and become very lazy in the riyl section
haha, nice
08:58 AM on 06/06/09
#4
awakeohsleeper
We never met, you and I
Offline
User Info.
awakeohsleeper's Avatar
I've enjoyed this CD so far.
09:44 AM on 06/06/09
#5
BlackpoolLights
Music Connoisseur
Offline
User Info.
BlackpoolLights's Avatar
Um...wrong.

Album is 90%, at least.
09:51 AM on 06/06/09
#6
shimmyshakes
Registered Member
Offline
User Info.
shimmyshakes's Avatar
I don't like this album at all.
It was a huge letdown for me.
10:13 AM on 06/06/09
#7
xsinkshipsx
@alexmacwilliam
Offline
User Info.
xsinkshipsx's Avatar
i like that youve got a huge review
and become very lazy in the riyl section
honestly, I couldn't think of much to compare it too....it is what it is...it's mewithoutYou...

and I know there will be some indie kid comin in here telling me all the bands it sounds like...but whatever...mewithoutYou is mewithoutYou....to me there is no one like it...one of my favorites...but...this album was a little bit of a letdown...
04:04 PM on 06/06/09
#8
mymusicismylife
Disgruntled wheat thins enthusiast
Offline
User Info.
mymusicismylife's Avatar
I love this album. I'm not sure if I like it more than their older stuff, but I still love it.

Parts of the second half are weaker in my opinion (Timothy Hay and Fig With a Bellyache are good but wear on me after a while, and I'm not a big fan of Cattail Down), but it picks back up with The King Beetle On a Coconut Estate and the untitled track.

My favorite tracks are definitely Goodbye, I; The Angel of Death Came to David's Room, and Bullet to Binary Pt. 2.

I'd give it an 85.
05:47 PM on 06/06/09
#9
timb89
Australian Music Roundup
Offline
User Info.
timb89's Avatar
honestly, I couldn't think of much to compare it too....it is what it is...it's mewithoutYou...

and I know there will be some indie kid comin in here telling me all the bands it sounds like...but whatever...mewithoutYou is mewithoutYou....to me there is no one like it...one of my favorites...but...this album was a little bit of a letdown...
tbh i love indie but have never managed to get into mewithoutyou
02:34 PM on 07/15/09
LowestLow
Registered User
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
When I first listened to the album, I was incredibly disappointed - the hype backlash hit me hard.

However, I love mwY too much to let go on just a few listens. So I kept playing it. With just a bit of persistence, I love it for what it is, and it's one of my favorites of the year.

That's not to say that I don't wish it was more of a spiritual or musical successor to CFUTF or Brother, Sister, but the parables are poignant and smart (though rehashed), and Weiss' vocals really set the tone for an album that I don't believe would have been as good had his method of delivery been spoken word.

Love it.
07:16 PM on 07/19/09
chordsforacure
Host of the Saint Mort Show!
Offline
User Info.
chordsforacure's Avatar
oh first listen this became my favorite album of 2009 (or at least tied with March Hare's: Mister Nimbus). I've always loved mewithoutyou and have welcomed their transformation with open arms. I'm disappointed that there's 2 reviews on this CD on this site and yet none of the reviews point out the wonderful production work done by Daniel "Brother Danielson" Smith (who also produces Sufjan Stevens)
08:30 PM on 09/05/09
billy_yo
Registered Member
Offline
User Info.
billy_yo's Avatar
oddly i love the song "fig with a bellyache"
09:29 AM on 09/28/09
kevinAIWW
boner boner boner boner boner boner
Offline
User Info.
kevinAIWW's Avatar
but nothing tops catch for us the foxes. ever.
Options
More From This Author
Buy the Music

NEWS, MUSIC & MORE
Search News
Release Dates
Exclusives
Best New Music
Submit News
CONNECT
Forums
Contests
RSS
Mobile Version
Banners, Flyers, Widgets
HIDDEN TREASURES
Free Music
Video News
Sports Forum
AP.net Related News
Recommendations
INFORMATION
FAQ
Contact Us
Copyright Policy
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
FOLLOW
Twitter | Facebook
PropertyOfZack
PunkNews.org
UnderTheGun
Chorus.fm