I had no expectations for this album. Heck, I hadn’t even heard of the band until a few days ago, and same goes for this album. I haven’t listened to any of their previous songs or albums, and this means I can’t really make comparisons with their previous album. I’ll be talking about Curve Of The Earth as it is. And for what it is, I’m enjoying it.
Mystery Jets is an indie rock/new prog band from the UK, that much I know. Knowing this, I expected something The Pineapple Thief-esque. Diving into the first track, Telomere, I felt like I was listening to a song from Anathema‘s Distant Satellites. By the second chorus, however, the choices made make it apparent that this isn’t a Distant Satellites rip-off, despite the general emotion and pace being similar. In the end, I really do enjoy this track anyways.
Bombay Blue is a great track, providing a poignant yet calming tune all the way through. In general, one thing I’ve realized would be how all the choruses are catchy and entertaining. Bubblegum, the third track, shows this well, and it’s probably the most accessible of the three. Midnight’s Mirror is a slow, long, proggy track, but maybe a bit too slow. 1985 is another poppy, simple, and slow ballad, and it provides a nostalgic backing for the next track Blood Red Balloon, which was definitely influenced by older acts. Taken By Tide is the Bubblegum of the second half. Saturnine is like Midnight’s Mirror, except even slower, but in this case, it’s more to the song’s advantage, as it really suits the buildup and vocals. The final track, The End Up, is a fitting conclusion, slow and emotional, and with really good buildup.
The album’s strongest part would be its songwriting. Generally, all songs have really powerful emotional content, and that’s exactly what I want from such a genre. Also, the vocals are really able to complement the instruments in sharing all them feels. But unfortunately, while the songwriting for individual songs is strong, looking at the album as a whole, there are two problems. Firstly, the songs generally lack variety. The first four tracks have great musical and emotional variety, but the rest seem to repeat the feelings of those four tracks. Secondly, there are too many long and slow songs. I wouldn’t mind a few (heck, I want a few) but half the album being as such is quite hard for me to swallow. Listening to the whole album at one stretch seems to be difficult, personally. Telomere, is, ultimately, my favorite track from this album.
But for what it is, it still has some pretty enjoyable stuff. Yes, maybe it’s not something to come back to for the entire year, but it definitely does have its fair share of replay value. If you’re looking for the calmer side of life, I recommend giving this a shot.
Revised Rating (Sept 2017): 3.0/5