Friday, January 1, 2016

#9 of My Top 12 Albums of 2015: Our Own House

MisterWives' Our Own House

Release Date: February 24th, 2014
Label: Photo Finish
Genre: Indie Pop, Pop

    Of all of the albums on my list, MisterWives' debut album Our Own House is probably the one I played the most in the year of 2015. This is party due to the fact that it was one of the earliest releases in the year on my list and the fact that it lends itself perfectly to being replayed over and over again.  As can be expected since this is the debut album, MisterWives is an incredibly new band that gained popularity with their initial EP early in 2014 and with their critically acclaimed performances in concerts, including their tour with the Indie superstars (which is slightly ironic) Twenty One Pilots. With their unique bland of Indie Pop and 80's Pop, almost bordering on Bubblegum Pop, MiserWives released Our Own House in February of 2015 to welcoming praise from fans and critics alike.

    I myself got into MisterWives because of Spotify, who's ad for getting Spotify Premium featured one of their songs for quite some time. I typically am annoyed by the ads on Spotify but for the time that it played MisterWives, I always found myself bouncing along with the upbeat and dynamic music, as well as with lead singer Many Lee's unique and unmistakable vocals.  I bought the album after listening to just two of their songs on Youtube and have never regretted that decision. My roommate and I played this cd over and over in my stereo while working for countless hours in the nights and we both fell in love with every song on the album, his favorite being "Vagabond" and my favorite, without question, being "Not Your Way".

"Not Your Way"

    "Not Your Way" is one hell of a rebellious party song.  Its lyrics are very well written, clearly outlining the problems of woman stereotypes an our society, saying that even after so many years of changing ideals and fashions, nothing has really changed.  However, the song also seems to point out that the problem is on both sides with the line "Lower and lower our standards grow as your money grows", though the blame still mainly falls on those that glorify a certain image or idea for what is the "ideal" woman.  During the chorus, Lee belts out an infectious set of lines that will be stuck in your head for days and follows a "We're Not Gonna Take It" vibe.  It could be called a feminist song, and in some ways, sure, but I call it something else: FUN. It does highlight an important issue and it does so in a way that will grab people's attention, just like how Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young grabbed people's attention with "Ohio", highlighting that issue.  The pure bombast that erupts with the chorus is impossible to ignore as every member comes together for a blast of energy, my favorite additions being the brass, piano, and saxophone elements, though I may be biased being a saxophone player myself.  This sounds like a song that was released by a well-experienced group well into their career of making pop music, but this was released on their debut album, demonstrating the immense talent this young group has.

"Best I Can Do"

   I've praised "Not Your Way" enough but in reality, I could do that for every song on the list, as each one has fantastic writing, musicianship and production of the highest caliber of Pop.  Even if you're like me, a metalhead who is normally headbanging to the likes of Metallica and Dark Tranquility, you cannot deny the catchiness and unshakable appeal of their songs.  If you don't believe me, just listen to the beginning of the album, which starts off with "Our Own House", "Not Your Way", and "Reflections", three of their best songs right in a row, and know that it gets even better as you go through the rest, as very soon you get to "Best I Can Do".  This song also begins with a great instrumental intro, following directly into the the bass-led verse powered by  William Hehir, who provides a groovy and solid foundation for this and a majority of the other tracks.  The song itself describes an unstable relationship, one in which the character personified by Lee comes to the realization that, since nothing else they tried worked, the relationship has now way of working.  This sounds depressing enough, but its sung and played in such a happy way that you'll still be singing this with a smile.  My theory is that the upbeat tone of this is supposed to highlight the fact that this realization was made, as if being shown the light and now everything is clear, meaning that the character's troubles are soon to disappear along with the relationship 

"Our Own House"

    Every song on this album is incredibly well made and produced, so credit must be made as well to the producer Frequency, who's catalog of previous work strangely enough seems to include a lot f hip-hop and rap albums or songs.  He really helped MisterWives capture and encapsulate their intent into these wonderful tracks, so he must be recognized as much as the band themselves.  Other songs I recommend for first time listeners include "Our Own House" (above), "Reflections", "Coffins", "No Need For Dreaming" and "Imagination Infatuation", though with the entire album of 12 songs clocking in at just over 40 minutes total, you should just listen to the album in its entirety anyway. Note that although I only showcased upbeat songs above, their songs "Queens" and more notably "Coffins" are more calm and reserved, showing that they can excel doing both fast-paced and slow ballad tracks, "Coffins" including a nice string arrangement as well.

    I predict and hope to everything that MisterWives becomes on of the biggest bands in coming years and dominate the pop charts. More MisterWives, less of everything else, I say.  Keep your eye out for their tours and hopefully an announcement for a new upcoming album, because I know it will be spectacular if it is anything like "Our Own House". 

Click here for MisterWives' official website
Click here for MisterWives' official Facebook page
Click here to buy Our Own House from iTunes
Click here to buy Our Own House from Amazon.

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