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Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (24 Sept. 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Pias Uk Ltd
  • ASIN: B000TGF186
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 137,736 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
After a gap of three years and losing a distinctive vocalist, Mum left me wondering what would happen next. Some reviewers had complained about the vocals on the first three albums but I had always thought that they were one of the distinctive elements of the band.

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The quirky playful elements are still there as well as the chopped up electronic percussion but the mood of the album is lighter than the previous album "Summer Make Good". The single "they made frogs smoke `til they exploded" is a good indication of the album as a whole. The samples are quite bizarre without sounding clumsy and the melody is beautiful.

The vocals are now sung as a group with a combination of female and male voices. This works quite well and reminds me of the band Efterklang. The music on this album, like its predecessor, is less electronic than the early albums and incorporates a variety of real instruments. The blending of the acoustic sounds with the more electronic side reminds me of bands like Tunng although Mum have a richer sound.

The album closes with two very strong and yet different pieces of music. "Guilty Rocks" recalls the sound of their debut album. It's quite a percussive track with a haunting melody, eerie strings and a feeling of suspense. The closing track is absolutely beautiful. It features a choir, distorted electronics and an incredible atmosphere.

Overall Mum have produced perhaps their most upbeat, confident and playful album so far. The three-year gap seems to have refreshed their outlook and the new album is very impressive. Fans of previous albums should not be disappointed.
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By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 12 Oct. 2007
Format: Audio CD
Múm have gone just a little further into weirdsville with "Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy," their fourth album of chilly, quirky pop.

This time, the Icelandic experimental band sounds a little less chilly and distant, and they rely a little more heavily on glitchy, hazy circus sounds than on icy folk. And they try to cover their bases with their catchiest -- and most bizarre -- songs to date.

It opens with an odd twanging melody, which sounds like someone trying to figure out if a stringed instrument is actually playable. As guitar, flute and strings weave their way in, it begins to bloom into a smooth, warm little song. "Bless the weeds that grow beyond/Just like rain and dust appear," they croon in unison. "Go, go smear the poison ivy/Let your crooked hands be holy..."

It's followed by "A Little Bit, Sometimes," a sensual, tinkly little electro-accordion melody. And the songs that follow are no less odd: bouncy glitchpop, mellow piano ballads and swirling tinkly melodies, mournful psych-blues, driving glitch-rock, sprightly folkpop, and experimental jumbles of colourful, trickling, completely confusing music.

Múm has always been about the pretty, folky, icy pop music with plenty of experimental flourishes. And fundamentally, they stick to that in "Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy," with all sorts of odd instrumentation and electronic layers.

And yet, something is different -- Múm seems to dance from sparkling sonic mosaics to sprightly, driving indiepop at the drop of a hat. They infuse their music with a dizzying array of instruments -- melodica, acoustic guitar, accordion, rushing piano melodies, xylophone, mournful horns, flutes, and even a lonely harmonica.
Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
very good album
£19 though on amazon
do a small amount of searching, and you will find it much cheaper
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Love it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9dc8e5c4) out of 5 stars 17 reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97bc5c78) out of 5 stars Blessed rambles 26 Sept. 2007
By E. A Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Múm have gone just a little further into weirdsville with "Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy," their fourth album of chilly, quirky pop.

This time, the Icelandic experimental band sounds a little less chilly and distant, and they rely a little more heavily on glitchy, hazy circus sounds than on icy folk. And they try to cover their bases with their catchiest -- and most bizarre -- songs to date.

It opens with an odd twanging melody, which sounds like someone trying to figure out if a stringed instrument is actually playable. As guitar, flute and strings weave their way in, it begins to bloom into a smooth, warm little song. "Bless the weeds that grow beyond/Just like rain and dust appear," they croon in unison. "Go, go smear the poison ivy/Let your crooked hands be holy..."

It's followed by "A Little Bit, Sometimes," a sensual, tinkly little electro-accordion melody. And the songs that follow are no less odd: bouncy glitchpop, mellow piano ballads and swirling tinkly melodies, mournful psych-blues, driving glitch-rock, sprightly folkpop, and experimental jumbles of colourful, trickling, completely confusing music.

Múm has always been about the pretty, folky, icy pop music with plenty of experimental flourishes. And fundamentally, they stick to that in "Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy," with all sorts of odd instrumentation and electronic layers.

And yet, something is different -- Múm seems to dance from sparkling sonic mosaics to sprightly, driving indiepop at the drop of a hat. They infuse their music with a dizzying array of instruments -- melodica, acoustic guitar, accordion, rushing piano melodies, xylophone, mournful horns, flutes, and even a lonely harmonica. And, of course, glitchy hazy waves of synth are wrapped around almost everything.

Their otherworldly-pop sound is enhanced by the wispy chorale of mellow, soft voices, no matter how creepy the songs are ("If you snap it like a twig/Glue it back with little sticks"). Most of them are pretty creepy if you know the words, even during their more poetry-laden moments ("These berries are eyes/Your eyes, my eyes/Birds turn their necks/Stare at them, long for them...").

"Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy" is Múm's eeriest -- and creepiest -- album to date, a divinely pretty musical trip, with some really weird songs. Like listening to a bunch of elves on acid.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97bc5d44) out of 5 stars Wonderful.. 26 Sept. 2007
By Brandon Vosika - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
--- 4.5 stars, out of 5 ---

Im a huge fan of Mum. ive got all of their CDs and singles and adore each song on each one. That includes this one, Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy. I like this album very much.. But it is a bit different from Mum's other CDs. (dont let that scare you away if you're a fan or just getting into them, just listen)
The main differences between this and their past albums are vocals and instroments. Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy has much much more male vocals than any of their past work. Female singer Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir sang on almost all past Mum albums but sadly left the band and was not a part of this new one. I must say, i miss her voice very much here. To me, this is a new part of Mum that im still getting used to. Its not a bad thing, just different. As for the difference concerning instruments... this album is less electronic and more organic. Thats not to say that past Mum albums have been all made on the computer or anything. I just mean that they use much more organic sounds like piano, glock, kazoo, strings... yes yes yes. This album is a bit more fast-pace compared to the last few. could maybe be compared (instromentaly) to the UK band Psapp.. ..sort of.

all in all, I would advise you to buy to BUY THIS ALBUM.
its very good.
its a bit different from past Mum releases but it still holds true to thier sound.
wonderful, playful icelandic music.

If you already like them or are just getting into them, rest assured, Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy is a beautiful album.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97b646a8) out of 5 stars Headphone Commute Review 25 Dec. 2007
By Headphone Commute - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
múm's playful approach to folktronica is already a solid staple among its contemporary experimental artists, regardless of this Icelandic group's changing members or branching out styles. Upon first listen the album defied my expectations. But then again, I couldn't pinpoint exactly what I awaited to hear. Through the fourth rotation, I was already familiar with the toytronic treatment and the lo-fi acoustic melodies, and started concentrating on the elaborated details of the individual tracks. And one by one (as with all múm's previous releases) the ratings started climbing - from three to four; from four to five. Bottom line is that múm delivers beyond deliverable expectations and leaves one more than satisfied with this addition to their already celebrated discography. Recomended for that múm feeling. Favorite tracks: A Little Bit, Sometimes, Guilty Rocks.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97b3ee10) out of 5 stars Blessed rambles 8 Oct. 2007
By E. A Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Múm have gone just a little further into weirdsville with "Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy," their fourth album of chilly, quirky pop.

This time, the Icelandic experimental band sounds a little less chilly and distant, and they rely a little more heavily on glitchy, hazy circus sounds than on icy folk. And they try to cover their bases with their catchiest -- and most bizarre -- songs to date.

It opens with an odd twanging melody, which sounds like someone trying to figure out if a stringed instrument is actually playable. As guitar, flute and strings weave their way in, it begins to bloom into a smooth, warm little song. "Bless the weeds that grow beyond/Just like rain and dust appear," they croon in unison. "Go, go smear the poison ivy/Let your crooked hands be holy..."

It's followed by "A Little Bit, Sometimes," a sensual, tinkly little electro-accordion melody. And the songs that follow are no less odd: bouncy glitchpop, mellow piano ballads and swirling tinkly melodies, mournful psych-blues, driving glitch-rock, sprightly folkpop, and experimental jumbles of colourful, trickling, completely confusing music.

Múm has always been about the pretty, folky, icy pop music with plenty of experimental flourishes. And fundamentally, they stick to that in "Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy," with all sorts of odd instrumentation and electronic layers.

And yet, something is different -- Múm seems to dance from sparkling sonic mosaics to sprightly, driving indiepop at the drop of a hat. They infuse their music with a dizzying array of instruments -- melodica, acoustic guitar, accordion, rushing piano melodies, xylophone, mournful horns, flutes, and even a lonely harmonica. And, of course, glitchy hazy waves of synth are wrapped around almost everything.

Their otherworldly-pop sound is enhanced by the wispy chorale of mellow, soft voices, no matter how creepy the songs are ("If you snap it like a twig/Glue it back with little sticks"). Most of them are pretty creepy if you know the words, even during their more poetry-laden moments ("These berries are eyes/Your eyes, my eyes/Birds turn their necks/Stare at them, long for them...").

"Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy" is Múm's eeriest -- and creepiest -- album to date, a divinely pretty musical trip, with some really weird songs. Like listening to a bunch of elves on acid.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97b2209c) out of 5 stars My favorite group for several years now, this is incredible 7 Nov. 2008
By S. Ranney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
First of all, I just wanted to say that I pursue music for a living and find it so rare to find a descent album which isn't repetitive, fake, over-processed, cliche, and common in it's use of sounds/instruments. This album has grown on me more than any album I have ever owned. When you open your ears, you will notice how brilliant the album is and the music is genius.
......................
The Icelandic powerhouse band Mum continually expand upon their abilities to compose fresh new music, releasing one album after the next without dropping loyal fans as many other groups have. The impressiveness of this feat may involve their talents; each album contains something completely new, and yet somehow continues the trademark sound which makes Mum unique.
Still, Mum's 2007 release Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy may be the group's most innovative up to date. With a more expanded combination of instruments than ever before, they have managed to blend acoustic and electronic instruments into one identity within their music. In a world where there exists labels for genres such as rock, pop, classical with few innovators, and countless followers, Mum surely cannot be labeled. Instead, their music communicates both texturally, harmonically, and in terms of instrumentation to create a specific soundscape or feeling.
Although others may disagree, I found Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy to be the best and one of the only albums for the winter season. With the exception of jingles, carols, and related thematic music for the holidays, music suited for the winter comes few and far in between. With harmonica, accordion, violin, piano, harp, and synthesized sounds which seem to create new timbres rivaling acoustic instruments, Mum often uses the high end to create a sparkling sound that resembles winter (Snow in particular) perfectly. The rhythmic aspects of the album do not inflict a thick sound, shoving beats in the listeners' faces as many artists do, but instead consist of a variety of percussive tones created by the group's imagination; often the other instruments have their own consistent groove aspects to add to the fundamental rhythm so that even when the beat does not seem apparent, the music still somehow has a pulse. The female vocalist's bizarre voice sounds like a mix between a child (possibly what we'd imagine an infant to sing like) and a grandmother. Previously, her voice tended to serve a more haunting, dark, creepy style of music, yet on Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy, she combines her voice with the male's voice to create harmonies perfectly suitable to the childish, playful quality associated with snow. Containing the same breathiness as well as beauty, Mum manages to create another surreal album that somehow still manages to pertain to reality perfectly.
The lyrics of Mum's music tend to be out of this world. Despite their Icelandic heritage, English pervades the entire album, resulting in lyrics as surreal as the album itself. Phrases such as "If you snap it like a twig, glue it back with little sticks, put it back into the grass again." continue the group's trademark childlike sound. Of course, nothing tends to be more imaginative than a child, so the lyrics make for an interesting album surely out of the norms. The group's direction seems to continue the use of "lyrics for the sake of the music", which I tend to prefer to convey atmosphere rather than the often boring instrumentation with melodramatic lyrics typically heard by other artists.
Song names portray the tracks accurately, including high piano sounds with bells, modal scales, in "These Eyes are Berries", breathe singing with uplifting beats, major pedal points in the bass in "Blessed Brambles". After track four, the album seems to take another direction; from a winter's morning to its night. Track five, "Moon Pulls", has a hammered string instrument (possibly prepared piano) being used in the low register for the first time on the album, with a minimalistic texture and a descending theme. For the first time, only the male voice sings, portraying a darker, more profound, nightly texture.
Track seven, "Rhuubarbidoo", only spans one and a half minutes and could function as a theme song. "Dancing Behind My Eyelids" might be my favorite track on the entire album. It begins with a thick pulsating bass note, eventually fading in reverberated, smoother, mid-ranged synthesizers. When the dark chord progression and (Mum's first) thick drum beat begin, an incredible Mum-invented cacophony of high-pitched sounds invade the track. The sounds create a texture that only reminds me of some sort of transportation to another world, and truly cannot be described in words. Somehow, Mum has this sound creating harmonies within the music, yet keeping the dissonant unrelated feeling of the frequencies.
The last track, titled "Winter", seems to confirm my thoughts on the group's theme for the album. It serves as an excellent closing track, yet doesn't seem to truly close. It spans four minutes of solely reverberated ambiance, portraying an eternal, haunting, slowly dying feeling for the listener.
I believe that anyone who listens to Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy and does not show some sort of appreciation or interest does not truly understand the music. However, I am biased, and continually prefer the innovators over the followers. For any Mum fans, or music connoisseurs interested in something new, Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy is a 7 out of 5.

- all in all, this album is an excellent sonic experience, surreal, yet perfect for the winter (IMO), beyond the realm of post rock, though I should never even classify Mum, moody with every song... All sounds blend brilliantly to create soundscapes, and the harmonic movement is so catchy/beautiful. I can't say anything bad about it.
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