REVIEW: Mutemath – “Odd Soul”

Mutemath / Odd Soul / Warner

Feeling abandoned isn’t exactly bliss. Whether you’re left alone after not making the cut for a dodgeball team in gym class or a one night stand’s heart, you’re left with questioning yourself and your beliefs. Thanks to the complete 720 Mutemath do on Odd Soul, their third effort in five years, it’s a feeling their most loyal listeners are going to unwillingly experience. But as many have proclaimed, change isn’t always bad. Ever since their birth in 2003, the New Orleans group have twisted a dynamic form of post-rock/electronica around alternative rock harmonies providing life to vivid statements like “Typical” and “Chaos”. It’s made the extremities of others appear average and yet it doesn’t seem to be enough for the quartet, partially due to how Odd Soul is extracted from every bit of the musical spectrum – a blinding spectacle even the instrumental piece “Sunray” seems to kick out in just over three minutes.

Opening up to funk smackdowns (“Walking Paranoia”), dreamy mainstream rock (“Equals”) and adrenaline-fueled bass taps (“Heads Up”) has given Mutemath the ability to compose with an immense amount of attraction. Though most of the recordings on Odd Soul take trips over the four minute mark, they battle length with risk as Paul Meany’s voice adds an imposing bite to “Allies” and spikes tedious ensembles such as “Quarantine”. Just don’t let the group’s new lust for being comprehensive incite pre-school comparisons; while the former track boasts rowdy blues riffs torn from the rough sessions of The Black Keys’ Magic Potion, Mutemath’s venture isn’t a change of clothes that should draw comparisons to Brothers. Meany and the rest the of group are letting growth and inspirations trace the outline of their new personality. Whether it sticks is a question to be asked, but for now, Odd Soul is worth spinning once, twice or four times until that “sinking in” feeling emerges with no clear way out.

Download: “Prytania”, “Walking Paranoia”, “Odd Soul”

 

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13 Comments

  • David Morton says:

    hmmmm…. I’ve listened to MuteMath since their first album, and I’ve seen them live. I love the new album. Not sure I’m unwillingly experiencing anything.

  • Darren says:

    This is a terrible album. Why they did it, no one knows.

  • Jake says:

    This is an incredible album. It is infinitely better than most of the crap out there now.

  • kingofbother says:

    I can hear all the influences they are pulling from. I really like the album. David Morton is right. I’m WILLINGLY experiencing great music.

  • Tim Hewitt says:

    This is a terrible review… Mutemath have done something spectacular with ODD SOUL. Time and fan growth will prove this. Those who can’t see the value in their new material. Listen again with new ears, you’ll be glad you did.

  • Jack says:

    I agree with Tim. I am a HUGE MuteMath fan, and at first i was a bit disappointed with this album. However, after a few listens through and a growing appreciation for their new style, I absolutely love the album. Also, Darren, way to back up your critique!

  • Emily says:

    I don’t get why you guys are saying this review is bad, the writer’s pointing out how great the album is and how it is different. If you’ve seen Mutemath live before, you could see where the influences come from but listening to the album, it’s totally unexpected. Amazing release, deserves a higher rating.

  • Anonymous says:

    I personally love this album! It’s fun, different…..what a great find for a raining LA day!

  • Bill says:

    Odd Soul is awesome. Yes, it’s different, but it’s difference is fantastic. I thought all riffs were already written- I was wrong. They’ve found more and they rock. Give it five front to backs- the record is brilliant. Be open to change and you will see the luster.

  • Trent Daniel says:

    Love it! Although it is different, its still classic mutemath that you can’t compare to anything. Even thought it did take a few times listening through the album to truly appreciate it, I now can’t put it down. Great review for another thrilling mutemath addition to my ipod.

  • Anonymous says:

    i love mute math, but…… drums not as dynamic….bass not as clever…to me it went from mute math to minus the math…

  • Spin That 45 says:

    Joshua, you’ve made some very good points! There are several hardcore MUTEMATH fans struggling with this album. My son included. Oh and a good friend who was MM’s phototographer in the NW. I was sort of that way. But as Trent said, he can’t put it down, neither can I. Alot of hardcore fans were not happy with Armistice at first but hat has changed. When we grow, our view changes. As it is with the guys. Their world has changed AND grown. They’ve matured in their writing style and pulled out classic sounds they’ve been brought with. As far as I’m concerned, they’ve created an album that makes me want to pull out the vinyl and listen to it the way albums were meant to be heard. . . from beginning to end. This is a good review!!! I’m going to link it to my blog http://www.spinthat45@live.com

  • Anonymous says:

    If “Darren” is actually the prodigious drummer for Mute Math, haha! Very funny. If not, Darren is probably waiting for NSYNC to get back together.

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