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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Band learns new tricks
This record is typical of the later, more mature Mogwai: which means nothing even approaching the feedback terror of ‘With Portfolio‘, and no more samples of late night NFL and answer-phones. Whilst for some this kills the raucous essence of the band, ‘Happy Songs For Happy People’ ultimately shows a band more aware of mood, of structure, and most...
Published on 17 Mar. 2006 by Steven Davies

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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars the sound of a band running on empty
Man i used to love this band! 5 years ago it all seemed so promising, but after the brain meltingly awful Rock Action I guess it's a miracle they're as capable as anything even as bearable as this. Funny, considering how Mogwai once slated Rothko for making a bunch of tuneless reverb-laden drones, what this album mostly consists of is, er, tuneless reverb-laden...
Published on 12 Jun. 2003 by S. White


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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Scots!, 6 Jun. 2003
This review is from: Happy Songs For Happy People (Audio CD)
This is an album full of tremors: seismic, with 'Ratts of the Capital'; emotional, with 'Hunted by a Freak'; and as with all of Mogwai's work here is music that will cause tremors to the heart. Their sound is a beautiful and as heart-rending as ever.
With arguably the best song titles on any LP this year ('Kids will be Skeletons'), the album shows that Mogwai are sticking to what they know best. The music swings between the etheral and the visceral in equal measure, with a somewhat more optimistic feel than 'Come on, Die Young'.
Mogwai have created a soundtrack to a very urban, very Scottish summer. It's not all grim up North you know...
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4.0 out of 5 stars A most rewarding album, 24 April 2010
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This review is from: Happy Songs For Happy People (Audio CD)
Typically ironic title for Mogwai's 2003 album, though it finds them a lot cheerier than usual. The album is one of their more accessible albums, with relatively few noisy bits and shorter songs for the most part. Hunted by a Freak fades in with a wonderful guitar melody. Immediately upon putting this track on, your surroundings will get a little darker, the sun will go behind the clouds, and the lights will dim. Moses? I Amn't? is more like a short atmospheric interlude, before next track, Kids Will Be Skeletons, which is a very gentle track. It's reminiscent of the Cure, particularly Disintegration-era (ie it plods along pleasantly).

Killing All the Flies has a loping guitar figure, with brief noise burst in the middle, while vocal track Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep is almost zen-like in its calm pace. Ratts of the Capital is the requisite multi-layered epic at eight minutes long and features a great middle section of heavy guitars before they drop off towards the end of the track. Mogwai have an excellent grasp of dynamics, and this song is a prime example.

After the Sigur Ros like Golden Porsche, which features violins, and the electronica-tinged I Know You Are But What Am I?, the album concludes with Stop Coming To My House, a sort of so-so track featuring the violins, guitars, electronics and the kitchen sink.

All in all, it's not a major departure for Mogwai but another album which takes its time to reveal itself, and rewards in equal measure when it does.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good... but not great., 30 July 2009
This review is from: Happy Songs For Happy People (Audio CD)
I always thought that Mogwai would have to go a long way to beat Ten Rapid, and each subsequent release has only confirmed the high standard that they set themselves at the start. I have most of their other albums, which all have moments of greatness, but are not as consistently great (in my opinion, of course) as Ten Rapid, and Happy Songs For Happy People is no exception.
Hunted By A Freak is a fantastic start - elements of Ten Rapid, Young Team and the vocoder overtures of Rock Action.
Moses? I Amn't - great title, but the song just meanders miserably. Leave the 80's drum sounds for a future John Hughes retrospective, I say.
Kids Will Be Skeletons - Nice guitar melodies reminiscent of the Cure in places (Catch anyone?) and I know that it's been done before and bands need to move on, but I could listen to the delayed guitar in the background for several hours quite happily.
Killing All The Flies - this song skips all over the place on my copy. The vendor was very nice about it and offered to refund me, but I thought that it wouldn't actually bother me, as I am unlikely to miss this track too much - that kind of sums it up for me. It's a plodder and a bit miserable. The best Mogwai songs for me always have an uplifting quality, and I just don't get that from this track...
Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep - ah, lovely feedback. This song reminds me of Eno's Apollo track An Ending (Ascent) which can't be bad.
Ratts Of The Capital - a Mogwai tour de force. A standout track. A concert closer, although My Father My King is pretty hard to beat in that respect.
Golden Porsche - a beautiful slice of melancholia with exactly the uplifting quality alluded to earlier - imagine that the titular golden porsche has crashed, but then slowly, slowly, survivors begin to emerge unscathed from the smoking wreckage into the sunlight. Or is that a bit over the top? Possibly...
I know you are but what am I? - Lovely, moody piano. More glorious melancholia. Shades of Tubular Bells in the keyboard section.
Stop Coming To My House - begins like a soundtrack to a glaswegian version of Apocalypse Now. Visions of running through some dark temple whilst Stuart Braithwaite wets his head Marlon Brando style. Then the track comes together in a similar vein to the Eric Serra track from the Leon soundtrack (Noon). All the rhythms meet up and interlock. Fin.
Mogwai albums tend to create very strong visual images for me, and Happy Songs For Happy People continues that tradition. And what started as a three star album at the beginning of this review has now become four stars upon reflection and after another listen...
Could it be a grower?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lazy summer bliss..post-rock style, 19 Jun. 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Happy Songs For Happy People (Audio CD)
Scottish mid-twentysomethings Mogwai stand clearly apart from the prevailing sounds of the alt-noughties.Whilst firmly grounded in the indie aesthetic they use atmosphere and tension to build finely crafted soundscapes.
There are very few words and the pace is languid and warm..like a summer afternoon in the Highlands.Any singing is heavily treated and creates an almost ethereal feeling on the opening track.
Its amazing to hear a modern,important band stepping off the express train and just indulging themselves in this well crafted and economic album.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy sadness, 29 Nov. 2007
By 
Lendrick (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Happy Songs For Happy People (Audio CD)
If you watch channel 4 you will have heard snatches of this as it is their favourite choice for between programme breaks & trailers. The 4th album from the Glasgow post rockers sees them blend their loud / quiet guitars with synths and vocoded vocals to create a fuller and slightly more commercial sound. The songs retain Mogwais trademark melancholy tone but gain more power and identity from the richness of the sound without any loss of power. Beautiful powerful, sad yet uplifting, post rock has never felt more emotional.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Its quite good., 9 Jun. 2003
This review is from: Happy Songs For Happy People (Audio CD)
This is nice. Somewhere between CODY and Rock Action. Glad to see they've cut down the length of the tracks. Some nice fresh ideas as well, not just recycled the old formula quiet LOUD quiet LOUD. On the whole, it's a quieter bedtime record.
Elements of BOC/GSYBE creep in, in places.
On the whole, not a bad effort. (after 2 listens)
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4.0 out of 5 stars this is fine stuff, 5 Sept. 2007
By 
sean paul mccann "mccanns23" (ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Happy Songs For Happy People (Audio CD)
happy songs for happy people is the fourth album bu scottish post rock icons mogwai (named after the breed of little monsters in gremlins).This album is different than their others because it is more laid back in terms of its aggression,in fact there is little of such the act indeed.This is an album of grace and subtle tones,the guitar is used but as an aid to the violins,viola,organ,piano,cello and even bells.
Mogwai are to all extents and purposes an instrumentalist act but three tracks here include vocals nevertheless,two of which are done on vocoder,which gives the sound a very electronic edge to it.
The album is 41 minutes of beautiful music and being patient with this album may be needed,repeated listens bring the songs more glory and there is some very stirring stuff here,never over pretentious to be truthful like alot of bands in the same style,mogwai create atmosphere and emotion,good stuff if the truth be set free.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mogwai continue to improve and mature, 1 Feb. 2005
By 
J (Fulham, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Happy Songs For Happy People (Audio CD)
Many Mogwai fans get very emotionally attatched to 'their' band, and it upsets them when 'their music' moves on from what's tried and tested. This is called musical PROGRESS. How tedious would it be if looking back in years to come they hadn't moved on?
This is a beautiful record. Sweeping soundscapes and heartbreaking melodies infect you. There's little of the piercing white noise which grace earlier records which although suitable and brilliant at the time, show that maybe the band are attempting new ways at airing their musical drive. Either way, HSFHP is set on a quieter melancholy and strength. Highlights include 'Ratts of the Capital' and the stunning 'Kids will be skeletons' - a great song. Mogwai say they started the band so as to produce serious guitar music. This is as close to perfecting their sound as they have come. Good on them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer quality, 30 Mar. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Happy Songs For Happy People (Audio CD)
I've only heard a few of their tracks before, and just bought this finally last week (!!), since then I've listened to it constantly - all I can say that this is now one of the best CD I have, and I have A LOT of music of all types of genre. Buy this now.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long may it contiue, 18 Jun. 2003
This review is from: Happy Songs For Happy People (Audio CD)
Well its that time again. I have just listened to the album again and can honesty say that it is scarely beautiful it haunts you demanding another listen. From the start of kids become skeletons to the build up of rats of the capital you could be anywere, It makes the hair,s on the back of your neck stand to attention. It is smoother than Rock action and is somewere between cody from die young and tracy from young team i feel that if you have any other of mogwai s albums you really must have this along side to complete a fantastic set of albums that are timeless, Mr braithwaite and the boys are musical brilliant and long my it contiue
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Happy Songs For Happy People
Happy Songs For Happy People by Mogwai (Audio CD - 2003)
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