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Vinyl, 5 Jul 2010
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After stripping away much of the excess on their lovelorn, warmly-received 2008 album Twenty One, Serotonin sees the Mystery Jets mapping out entirely new musical territories with the synthesizer-fueled perfect pop of "Dreaming Of Another World" and "It's Too Late", which begins as an aching soft-rock ballad before unexpectedly heading somewhere infinitely weirder. In the dark, hallucinatory grind of Lorna Doone, you can hear echoes of ELO, 10CC, Fleetwood Mac and Supertramp rubbing up against the band s own idiosyncratic, very British, psychedelic sensibility.
Twenty One, the 2008 album which yielded Mystery Jets' astonishing single Two Doors Down, was a step up in ambition and quality from the band's bright 2006 debut, Making Dens. Neither album quite delivered on the band's supreme early promise but, at last, Serotonin is the real deal.
Although singer Blaine Harrison and his four cohorts (including his now non-touring dad Henry) make what could loosely be termed British guitar indie, their inventiveness and raft of ideas mean they operate on a plateau far above most of the competition. Their only obvious UK peers, who express similar levels of imagination, are British Sea Power and Super Furry Animals.
Alice Springs, the excellent opener, finds Blaine's rich, quivering voice married to a tremendous wall of sound of ascending synth, wordless vocal chants and guitar pummelling. At its biggest peaks, you can almost imagine Arcade Fire speeding down the Thames in a speedboat, to moan at the band for nicking their sound.
Too Late to Talk begins with serious prog silliness, the kind most commonly associated with strange men sporting stranger beards. But it soon turns into a hugely affecting piano ballad, one bizarrely reminiscent of Guns N' Roses' November Rain, albeit minus Axl and a brilliantly overblown ending.
By far the boldest track is Show Me the Light. Some pundits would say mixing an early-90s house bassline with iridescent Friendly Fires synth, chiming U2 riffs and hectic flamenco guitars is foolish. They are wrong. The shimmering, almost ecstatic single Dreaming of Another World is a moreish moment of Byrds-style whimsy and perhaps epitomises the mood of Serotonin best. It's utterly alive and is filled with the immensely attractive certainty that, actually, life is great if you live it with the right attitude.
There are many more moments of magic on this triumphant third album. Among them, The Girl is Gone proves Mystery Jets can do melancholy in as confident a manner as they do happiness. Mellifluous, lovelorn and tender, it'll squeeze the heart of anyone who's ever been in love, and especially those who've later felt theirs break.
Under the watch of venerable, veteran producer Chris Thomas (whose credits include The Beatles, Sex Pistols and countless others) these west Londoners have made a varied, touching, excitable and witty album. Really, how can one not love a record containing Flash a Hungry Smile with its line of, "Have you heard the birds and bees / have all got STDs?"
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Top customer reviews
The opening song is brilliant, and the beginning leads you into a song, and a album that you know will not disappoint.
Some the songs just put a smile on my face: Show Me The Light has be the most uplifting song on this album. Lady Gray and Serotonin are also fantastic in doing this.
Mystery Jets show they can do ballads too with It's Too Late To Talk, which I can tell is heartfelt and has meaningful lyrics.
And who can't love Flash A Hungry Smile with lyrics like 'Have you heard all the birds and bee have all got STDs?' Sounds odd, but it's another excellent song.
The bonus track, Loose Lips Sink Ships, shows Mystery Jets still can make music with a very alternative sound, and sounds quite different from the rest of the album. This track is also very good though too!
Basically the whole album is amazing!
nervous system mood regulator, among others, has the capacity to make
us glow from the inside out with love for the world and our fellow man.
More feelgood-factor than X-Factor if you like!
The title of Mystery Jets new album is, accordingly, entirely apt.
This really is music to make you feel good.
I remain very fond of their 2008 release 'Twenty One'. It has the kind
of energy which can make you grin and laugh and walk in a silly way.
You really must listen to 'Half In Love With Elizabeth'. Please.
This new collection of eleven tracks doesn't mess about at all.
These are very fine songs performed with care and conviction.
Blaine Harrison sings and plays guitar and keyboards and so does
old friend William Rees; Kai Fish plays bass and Kapil Trivedi drums.
Even Mr Harrison's dad Henry has an important part to play.
There's more than a whiff of Arcade Fire's visionary power in opening
track 'Alice Springs' but there's plenty of space in the world for a
composition as stirring as this whatever its pedigree!
'It's Too Late' is a gorgeous composition. Big tune, big harmonies and the
cutest old-fashioned synthesiser sound imaginable. Mr Harrison howls
beautifully at its heart! (I was very pleased as you can imagine...)
The effortless five-star quality continues with 'The Girl Is Gone'.
The tick-tock beat keeps this marvelously simple melody on track
from top to tail. (I had the strangest association whilst listening to it -
McGuinness Flint's 1970 hit 'When I'm Dead and Gone' - something to
do with this music's almost timeless ambience I'm sure!)
'Show Me The Light' is another cracker. You can dance to it. I did. Badly!
Final track 'Lorna Doone' emerges slowly from the swirling mists of its
opening dirge to become the album's crowning glory. An emotionally
uplifting song with a soaring falsetto vocal performance from Mr Harrison Jnr.
Traces of popular music from five decades seem to have been compressed into
one magisterial anthem to stir our blood and bring us strength and fortitude.
'Serotonin' is a work of simple, seismic beauty.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
2. Have you ever wondered, what if Mike Love was a guest vocalist on Europe's "The Final Countdown"?
3. Imagine what would happen if Shudder To Think had stayed together, distilled the candiest, glitteriest pop hooks from their saccharine "50,000 BC", (whistled, of course), and all developed a moog fetish?
4. If "Rio"-era Duran Duran were placed in a time machine and sent to skinny-pants Brooklyn circa 2008, were then locked in a studio where they were bombarded with rare and unreleased Freddie Mercury solo acapella material, and told to produce a musical dissertation channeling the singer from The Mars Volta?
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