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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Songs that more people should be Singing Along to..., 14 Dec. 2009
C. MCCLELLAND (London) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sing Along To Songs You Don't Know (Audio CD)
I want to start off by saying that if this were the band's first album, or it were the album that introduced me to the band, I would have fallen in love with it quite quickly, if not straight away.

Their first three albums were three of the most beautiful albums I have EVER heard; "Summer Make Good" definitely being their best (in my opinion) and actually one of my favourite albums of all time ; even though it was very slow moving, it was intense, powerful and just such an epic album. They had a dark beauty to their music that I adored; very few artists have made me feel emotions so strong as these guys have...

Before the recording of their 2007 release, "Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy", Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir (who provided the vocals, and clearly a lot of the atmosphere and character, for the music) left the band. As far as I know, she wasn't happy with the direction that the band were moving into. This departure clearly changed Múm as a band. "Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy" was catchier, upbeat, and was a very nice surprise. I loved this album, but hoped that their next album would be closer to the sound of "Summer Make Good" or "Finally We Are No One".

"Sing Along to Songs You Don't Know" was released in August 2009. This album is pretty, emotional and beautifully put together (which I'm sure anything Múm releases will be), but I can tell that they are becoming more, well, normal. The focus seems to be more on the vocals than on anything else and the songs have a more traditional, "pop song" structure. That magical, fairytale-like sound seems to have almost disappeared altogether; although there are some moments here and there where it does shine through. Like I said before, the songs are very beautiful and they have a nice, calming feel to them that does bring a smile to my face when I hear them. I do love this album. Songs like "If I Were A Fish", "Húllabbalabbalúú" and "Ladies of the New Century" have a bittersweet sound that I really do enjoy. This album reminds me of a warm, sunny day spent outside (like the cover artwork suggests). Maybe I'm being a bit silly wishing for their old sound back. Obviously they are very experimental and I think it's good that they want to do something different to what they've done before, and the best way to develop is to do something different. I get the feeling that they must have a lot more fun playing these songs live as well.

Overall, this is a very good release and it stands very well on it's own. I'm still a huge fan of theirs and I will buy anything and everything that they release, but I do feel in my heart that Múm are capable of making something more powerful than this, and I'm sure that they will...

Note; fans of Múm's earlier music, or those who miss Kristín's voice; you might be pleased to know that she has actually released a small amount of solo material. In 2010, she released "Uterus Water [7" VINYL]", which you can download on iTunes. Unfortunately, there are only three tracks but I guess it's better than nothing... In 2007, she and her then husband, Avey Tare, released "Pullhair Rubeye", it's rather strange, but an interesting listen...
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Sing Along To Songs You Don't Know
Sing Along To Songs You Don't Know by Múm (Audio CD - 2009)
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