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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Do Do Well
Ms Merilahti and Mr Levy collectively known as The Do
have created something extraordinary and distinctive
with their debut album 'A Mouthful'.

This Franco-Finnish duo are striding way out into the leftfield
with this collection of 15 fiercely independent compositions.

The mood is predominantly light and quirky.

Opening...
Published on 13 July 2009 by The Wolf

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars intriguing
This is a remarkable (i'm not too sure whether in a good or bad way yet (?) hence the 3 stars) eclectic album from this male/female duo. It's basically folky pop with an attitude. Olivia mostly sings in a very high vocal range and this can grate at times but it does have a difficult to define, almost childlike, quality which is quite appealing. I do prefer the songs where...
Published on 21 Jun 2010 by Peter Hill


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Do Do Well, 13 July 2009
By 
The Wolf (uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: A Mouthful (Audio CD)
Ms Merilahti and Mr Levy collectively known as The Do
have created something extraordinary and distinctive
with their debut album 'A Mouthful'.

This Franco-Finnish duo are striding way out into the leftfield
with this collection of 15 fiercely independent compositions.

The mood is predominantly light and quirky.

Opening track 'In My Box' immediately catapults into
unfamiliar territory. The childrens' chorus has an ambiguous
feral quality - kind of Lord Of The Flies meets Bjork !

From here on in it's a patchwork quilt of largely very
fine songwriting.

'On My Shoulders' is a small jewel of a composition.
Ms Merilahti's fragile and expressive vocal performance
is quite delightful; the string and organ accompaniment
is perfectly judged.

'The Bridge Is Broken' would not have been too out of
place if encountered in a 1920's music hall.
The disembodied ethereal harmonies are especially striking.

'Tammie' funks things up very nicely. The ska rhythms and
swirling vocals conjure up images of a fairground nightmare.

'Coda' creates a darker brooding atmosphere. The ghostly
strings and flittering percussion support an equally haunting
central vocal performance. A very fine song.

Likewise the fragile 'Searching Gold'. The slightly off-kilter
piano and spare arrangement is somewhat redolent of
P J Harvey's work on her splendid 'White Chalk' album.

'Travel Light' is a heavier affair altogether and perhaps
the weakest number in the collection.

The bombastic percussion and wailing voice and guitar of final
track 'Aha' bring the album to an abrupt and inconclusive close.

A strangely wonderful and deeply satifying musical experience.

Highly Recommended.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How many summers will I wait, 18 Sep 2008
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: A Mouthful (Audio CD)
I first found "A Mouthful" floating around the web somewhere, and though at first it didn't capture my attention, I was soon scouring the web for an actual physical disk. I had to stretch my horizons to France.

So I don't think it's an exaggeration to call The Dø a deeply underrated band who haven't yet gotten the attention they deserve. And that's a shame, because the Finnish/French duo's debut album "A Mouthful" is one of the more lovable ones of the past year -- a gloriously colourful patchwork quilt of different pop melodies, as if The Dø is determined to try out as many kinds of music as they humanly can.

It opens with a sprightly recorder tune, and the sound of childlike voices shouting, "We -- are -- not -- cra-- zy!/We are not afraid of your grown-ups/We'll go ask the queen of this kingdom/If you won't let us play with screws and hammers!" Olivia Bouyssou Merilahti follows it up with an indulgent little song about, "Now boys play with pink girls at the break/See they're not blindly stuck up with colours/And girls like to run with boys/In the muddy school garden... girls and boys, gigglin' and sharing..."

Then unexpectedly the band switches styles completely, to the laid-back guitars of "At Last" ("Oh girls I found what you're still craving for") and the catchy lament of "On My Shoulders." The absolute peak of the album is the string-laden "Song For Lovers," where Merilahti croons wistfully, "Here's a song for lovers/Who don't care if they don't sleep/If dragonflies with heavy hearts/Cut the air like darts... You were far too young dear/To get so close to the clouds/No one told you to stay awake/For pleasures of that kind."

But though that ballad is the loveliest, it's not the end by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, they start getting more creative after that -- stomping guitarpop, sprightly pop melodies ("Stay just a little bit more/don't let my heart turn sore!"), Finnish dance rendered with acoustic instruments, electronic experimental stretches, low eerie thumping melodies, gentle pianopop. It even finishes up with the wild triple-threat of lo-fi indierock in the grimy "Travel Light," organ-saturated electropop in "Aha," and the clattery stomp of "In My Box." They even have a hallucinatory hip-hop/electronica song ("Ever heard of a crowned fighter dressed all in white/Ever heard of the mighty lady queen dot kong?").

As you can tell, The Dø can't be pinned down to one individual sound. In fact, after a certain point, they don't seem to care about anything except the joy of creating really brilliant music.

And after the first few songs of solid guitar-driven indiepop, they seem determined to experiment with as many kinds of pop music as they can, and the selection grows wilder and more diverse as they go on. By the end they're stringing vastly different kinds of pop music like colourful beads on a string, and the total lack of cohesion is the only thing that keeps this from being a perfect album. And by the next collection they put out, I suspect that won't be a problem anymore.

And they interweave some truly brilliant instrumentation -- a grimy guitar forms the backbone of most of these songs, bouncing nimbly through "Stay (Just A Little Bit More)" and then lurching heavily through the catchy "Tammie." Then it's wrapped in a heavy dose of thumping drums, piano, banjo, violins, and some shimmering sparkling keyboard and richly colourful organ. Then they slap a few MORE musical flourishes on it -- harmonica, xylophone, tambourine -- to keep the dense, nimble melodies fully-rounded.

Even more striking is The Dø's ability to meld different genres without even breaking a sweat. Thumping indie-rock suddenly blossoms into bright electronic pop, and a grimy rock'n'roll tune is suddenly swamped in a plaintive violin melody.

Merilahti has a very lovely voice -- a little rough around the edges, but very clear, sweet and pure. She can belt it out like an indie-rocker ("I thought no one could track me down/Til I got shot in the back") but she's at her best when she sings the kookier or quieter songs. And she sings some really striking songs -- sometimes clever ("He was a bore, a true chore and I still wonder why I ever wanted to see him more...") as well as quietly evocative ones ("if I find bones along my way/I might feel a little less alone...").

"A Mouthful" apparently aspires to include as many kinds of pop as The Dø can cram into one album, and it's a charming, fun little ride speckled with darker, more bittersweet moments. Definitely one of the year's must-hears.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much Adø (8/10), 6 Aug 2009
By 
Gannon (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Mouthful (Audio CD)
Pronounced in line with the musical scale do-re-mi, this Franco-Finnish duo finally gets a long-overdue UK release. A Mouthful is an eclectic and dizzying release starting badly however in playground vocals and recorder harmonies. Luckily, this hiccup is all that can be frowned upon. Olivia Merilahti's delightful voice is the star of the show, pitched beguilingly between Nina Persson and her from the Concretes. Indeed, it drives and equally floats through the choice pop of early highlights `On My Shoulders' and `The Bridge is Broken' recalling a under-produced-but-all-the-better-for-it cover of the Cardigans' Gran Turismo period.

Sandwiched in between, `Song For Lovers' is entirely more sombre, more in line with First Aid Kit's Nordic campfire-folk. The cutesy pop-folk of `Stay' will certainly have caught Slow Club's ear, as will Merilahti's declaration that the target of this track will not provide the `satisfying shag' she's looking for. One looks with furrowed brow at bandmate Andy LaPlant at this point. Pulsing, world-embracing Finnish-language `Unissassi Laulelet', along with the Bon-Iver-Blood-Bank borrowing `Tammie', draw the sensible section of A Mouthful to a close.

Then, this happens. `Queen Dot Kong' can only be described as a bouncy castle, full of hip-pop beats and two veg, kitchen sink and madcap, guest vocals and samples. If you are thinking Chris Colonna's cavalier Bumblebeez at this point you would be well rewarded for doing so. In turn, this track bleeds into `Coda', not really a track in its own right as the name suggests. This baffling pair's inclusion is massively incongruous, yet not unwelcome. It weirdly all makes sense, but forgives the occasional skip.

How anything can follow that strange episode is beyond me, but where The Dø hit, they do so strongly. `Searching Gold' plays it safer in effective PJ Harvey country. Never satisfied, as it would appear from Merilahti's earlier statement, The Dø then tackle ivory-tickled tristesse with competent results before rounding off with three pleasing but paling pop-and-awe indie-rockers.

Bewildering and exhilarating, The Dø go a long way to loosening NYC's stranglehold on experimentalism. Vice, are you listening? Consider this a do.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cut the air like darts, 7 Jun 2009
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: A Mouthful (Audio CD)
I first found "A Mouthful" floating around the web somewhere, and though at first it didn't capture my attention, I was soon scouring the web for an actual physical disk. I had to stretch my horizons to France.

So I don't think it's an exaggeration to call The Dø a deeply underrated band who haven't yet gotten the attention they deserve. And that's a shame, because the Finnish/French duo's debut album "A Mouthful" is one of the more lovable ones of the past year -- a gloriously colourful patchwork quilt of different pop melodies, as if The Dø is determined to try out as many kinds of music as they humanly can.

It opens with a sprightly recorder tune, and the sound of childlike voices shouting, "We -- are -- not -- cra-- zy!/We are not afraid of your grown-ups/We'll go ask the queen of this kingdom/If you won't let us play with screws and hammers!" Olivia Bouyssou Merilahti follows it up with an indulgent little song about, "Now boys play with pink girls at the break/See they're not blindly stuck up with colours/And girls like to run with boys/In the muddy school garden... girls and boys, gigglin' and sharing..."

Then unexpectedly the band switches styles completely, to the laid-back guitars of "At Last" ("Oh girls I found what you're still craving for") and the catchy lament of "On My Shoulders." The absolute peak of the album is the string-laden "Song For Lovers," where Merilahti croons wistfully, "Here's a song for lovers/Who don't care if they don't sleep/If dragonflies with heavy hearts/Cut the air like darts... You were far too young dear/To get so close to the clouds/No one told you to stay awake/For pleasures of that kind."

But though that ballad is the loveliest, it's not the end by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, they start getting more creative after that -- stomping guitarpop, sprightly pop melodies ("Stay just a little bit more/don't let my heart turn sore!"), Finnish dance rendered with acoustic instruments, electronic experimental stretches, low eerie thumping melodies, gentle pianopop. It even finishes up with the wild triple-threat of lo-fi indierock in the grimy "Travel Light," organ-saturated electropop in "Aha," and the clattery stomp of "In My Box." They even have a hallucinatory hip-hop/electronica song ("Ever heard of a crowned fighter dressed all in white/Ever heard of the mighty lady queen dot kong?").

As you can tell, The Dø can't be pinned down to one individual sound. In fact, after a certain point, they don't seem to care about anything except the joy of creating really brilliant music.

And after the first few songs of solid guitar-driven indiepop, they seem determined to experiment with as many kinds of pop music as they can, and the selection grows wilder and more diverse as they go on. By the end they're stringing vastly different kinds of pop music like colourful beads on a string, and the total lack of cohesion is the only thing that keeps this from being a perfect album. And by the next collection they put out, I suspect that won't be a problem anymore.

And they interweave some truly brilliant instrumentation -- a grimy guitar forms the backbone of most of these songs, bouncing nimbly through "Stay (Just A Little Bit More)" and then lurching heavily through the catchy "Tammie." Then it's wrapped in a heavy dose of thumping drums, piano, banjo, violins, and some shimmering sparkling keyboard and richly colourful organ. Then they slap a few MORE musical flourishes on it -- harmonica, xylophone, tambourine -- to keep the dense, nimble melodies fully-rounded.

Even more striking is The Dø's ability to meld different genres without even breaking a sweat. Thumping indie-rock suddenly blossoms into bright electronic pop, and a grimy rock'n'roll tune is suddenly swamped in a plaintive violin melody.

Merilahti has a very lovely voice -- a little rough around the edges, but very clear, sweet and pure. She can belt it out like an indie-rocker ("I thought no one could track me down/Til I got shot in the back") but she's at her best when she sings the kookier or quieter songs. And she sings some really striking songs -- sometimes clever ("He was a bore, a true chore and I still wonder why I ever wanted to see him more...") as well as quietly evocative ones ("if I find bones along my way/I might feel a little less alone...").

"A Mouthful" apparently aspires to include as many kinds of pop as The Dø can cram into one album, and it's a charming, fun little ride speckled with darker, more bittersweet moments. Definitely one of the year's must-hears.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eclectic jazzy indie pop - brilliant!, 3 July 2008
By 
Sick Mouthy (Exeter, Devon) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: A Mouthful [VINYL] (Audio CD)
It's criminal that this Franco-Finnish duo's debut album hasn't been released properly in the UK - their (mostly) English-language pop, informed by indierock, hiphop, and jazz training, is light, musical, tuneful, catchy and incredibly good fun. Think Bjork, PJ Harvey, Eminem, The Cardigans, but with a real deftness and frivolity, and amazing stylistic unity considering the diverse range of influences. People don't often make pop music like this these days. One of my favourite albums of 2008.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How many summers will I wait?, 17 May 2010
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
I first found "A Mouthful" floating around the web somewhere, and though at first it didn't capture my attention, I was soon scouring the web for an actual physical disk. I had to stretch my horizons to France.

So I don't think it's an exaggeration to call The Dø a deeply underrated band who haven't yet gotten the attention they deserve. And that's a shame, because the Finnish/French duo's debut album "A Mouthful" is one of the more lovable ones of the past year -- a gloriously colourful patchwork quilt of different pop melodies, as if The Dø is determined to try out as many kinds of music as they humanly can.

It opens with a sprightly recorder tune, and the sound of childlike voices shouting, "We -- are -- not -- cra-- zy!/We are not afraid of your grown-ups/We'll go ask the queen of this kingdom/If you won't let us play with screws and hammers!" Olivia Bouyssou Merilahti follows it up with an indulgent little song about, "Now boys play with pink girls at the break/See they're not blindly stuck up with colours/And girls like to run with boys/In the muddy school garden... girls and boys, gigglin' and sharing..."

Then unexpectedly the band switches styles completely, to the laid-back guitars of "At Last" ("Oh girls I found what you're still craving for") and the catchy lament of "On My Shoulders." The absolute peak of the album is the string-laden "Song For Lovers," where Merilahti croons wistfully, "Here's a song for lovers/Who don't care if they don't sleep/If dragonflies with heavy hearts/Cut the air like darts... You were far too young dear/To get so close to the clouds/No one told you to stay awake/For pleasures of that kind."

But though that ballad is the loveliest, it's not the end by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, they start getting more creative after that -- stomping guitarpop, sprightly pop melodies ("Stay just a little bit more/don't let my heart turn sore!"), Finnish dance rendered with acoustic instruments, electronic experimental stretches, low eerie thumping melodies, gentle pianopop. It even finishes up with the wild triple-threat of lo-fi indierock in the grimy "Travel Light," organ-saturated electropop in "Aha," and the clattery stomp of "In My Box." They even have a hallucinatory hip-hop/electronica song ("Ever heard of a crowned fighter dressed all in white/Ever heard of the mighty lady queen dot kong?").

As you can tell, The Dø can't be pinned down to one individual sound. In fact, after a certain point, they don't seem to care about anything except the joy of creating really brilliant music.

And after the first few songs of solid guitar-driven indiepop, they seem determined to experiment with as many kinds of pop music as they can, and the selection grows wilder and more diverse as they go on. By the end they're stringing vastly different kinds of pop music like colourful beads on a string, and the total lack of cohesion is the only thing that keeps this from being a perfect album. And by the next collection they put out, I suspect that won't be a problem anymore.

And they interweave some truly brilliant instrumentation -- a grimy guitar forms the backbone of most of these songs, bouncing nimbly through "Stay (Just A Little Bit More)" and then lurching heavily through the catchy "Tammie." Then it's wrapped in a heavy dose of thumping drums, piano, banjo, violins, and some shimmering sparkling keyboard and richly colourful organ. Then they slap a few MORE musical flourishes on it -- harmonica, xylophone, tambourine -- to keep the dense, nimble melodies fully-rounded.

Even more striking is The Dø's ability to meld different genres without even breaking a sweat. Thumping indie-rock suddenly blossoms into bright electronic pop, and a grimy rock'n'roll tune is suddenly swamped in a plaintive violin melody.

Merilahti has a very lovely voice -- a little rough around the edges, but very clear, sweet and pure. She can belt it out like an indie-rocker ("I thought no one could track me down/Til I got shot in the back") but she's at her best when she sings the kookier or quieter songs. And she sings some really striking songs -- sometimes clever ("He was a bore, a true chore and I still wonder why I ever wanted to see him more...") as well as quietly evocative ones ("if I find bones along my way/I might feel a little less alone...").

"A Mouthful" apparently aspires to include as many kinds of pop as The Dø can cram into one album, and it's a charming, fun little ride speckled with darker, more bittersweet moments. Definitely one of the year's must-hears.
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3.0 out of 5 stars intriguing, 21 Jun 2010
By 
Peter Hill ""yoghurtknitter"" (Waterville Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Mouthful (Audio CD)
This is a remarkable (i'm not too sure whether in a good or bad way yet (?) hence the 3 stars) eclectic album from this male/female duo. It's basically folky pop with an attitude. Olivia mostly sings in a very high vocal range and this can grate at times but it does have a difficult to define, almost childlike, quality which is quite appealing. I do prefer the songs where she reverts to a relatively "normal" tone of singing but to add more variation you even get some world/african drum style performances and R&B rapping thrown in to the mix. This issue of the cd comes with 3 extra tracks having chamber versions of two of the album tracks and an unusual but very catchy "playground hustle" ending. When it clicks this album is excellent but by it's very quirky nature it is patchy and overall not totally fulfilling.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Summer is here, 17 July 2009
By 
M. Hutchinson - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: A Mouthful (Audio CD)
This album had a 5* review in the Sunday Times, yet its hardly made a mark on the charts.
Can't understand why - its fantastic! Bright songs, a great lead singer, lots of variety - the perfect album for driving with the roof down on a sunny day (or if you're like me, commuting on the London Underground in the early morning on a wet July morning, .... but with a smile on your face).
Highly recommended - by me, at least!
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Do (A Mouthful), 14 Oct 2009
By 
Andrew Fulford "Cheffie" (Belfast) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Mouthful (Audio CD)
A good album, though not blow you away and listen to over and over again kind of good. Still am fairly glad I purchased it. Not sure how to discribe the music though, there are many styles on this. Best to have listen and form your own opinion.
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