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on 1 January 2016
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on 8 December 2012
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on 15 March 2006
I heard a few of their tracks before i saw them live at the NME tour, and the album definitley lives up to everything i heard live. singles 'you cant fool me dennis', 'alas agnes' and 'the boy who ran away' are instant classics, and my personal fave is ' Little Bag of Hair' which is one of the best songs ive heard since i first heard the Arctic Monkeys, although im not comparing these two bands, they are completely different. Some tracks are also a little Prog, such as 'Zoo Time', which will have you chanting the title in your head constantly.
The album in general is a great attempt at amazingness by the Eel-Pie Island collective, and a definite must for anyone into indie and looking for something 'different'. I mean, how different do you want a singer to be that plays piano, a dustbin lid and a frying pan among other things? the true definition of indie is 'Mystery Jets'.
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on 3 December 2007
I only recently bought this album after reading a lot of the press about this band. Heck, any band with their dad in it has to be worth a listen (I'm a 50 year old dad myself that still plays at being in bands....). All the talk of being "prog" is really weird, because the MJs sound very unlike much prog I have heard. The only track that has vague hints of King Crimson is Zootime, apart from that the closest references I can come up with are XTC meets Syd Barrett-era Floyd. Eclectic, eccentric, whimsical and very English in just the way that XTC were. They also share much of the layered and angular guitar work that typifies XTC's later work (I'm listening to "Love On A Farmboy's Wages" as I type this and it's quite reminiscent of much of the feel of this album).

This album is full of quirky, loveable and different songs, with some lovely layered harmonies. Stand out tracks for me are "You Can't Fool Me Dennis" (irresistible from the first few notes, truly a modern Arnold Layne as others have said), "Purple Prose" (great guitar work, I completely disagree with the reviewer that said it wasn't memorable), "The Boy Who Ran Away" (a very non-traditional approach to song structure that works well), "Horse Drawn Cart" (beautiful harmonies and a whimsical approach worthy of XTC) and "Little Bag Of Hair" (a real grower that has heartfelt poignancy in the lyrics).

Good tracks are "Zootime" (which is a prog-esque mainly instrumental that is a grower) and "Diamonds in the Dark". The let downs for me which lose it a star are "Alas Agnes", which tries so hard to be quirky and different that it fails on all levels (I bet they started with the title and tried to write the song around it...), "Soluble In Air" (unoffensive filler) and "Making Dens" ( meanders too much and doesn't really get anywhere). But overall a really enjoyable album that shows tremendous promise. These guys sound like they are having fun, and that matters. I recommend you buy it and watch what the MJs do in future.
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on 26 March 2006
Anybody with half an eye on the indie scene of late will have noticed the similarity of most bands - they look the same, they sound the same. It makes for very dull listening.
Luckily for us, along came the Mystery Jets. They certainly look eccentric - a fact which seems to be discussed by reviewers considerably more than what they actually sound like. Which is a terrible shame, because their music is quite unlike anything you've ever heard.
Having heard several of the Mystery Jets' singles before the release of the album, I was intrigued to say the least. I expected the album to be an assortment of jangley, interesting little tunes thrown together in an ameteurish fashion - but in fact it is much more than that.
The songs range widely across the musical spectrum - from the fresh and catchy 'Alas Agnes', the proggy guitar driven 'Zoo Time' to the sad rolling epic of 'Little Bag of Hair'. Each song works on its own, but everything is presented in its best light as a whole album. It flows beautifully, a quality which is very rare among debuts. It is filled to the brim with instrumental genious and soaring tunes that will refuse to leave your head for weeks. The Mystery Jets have taken the prog format of ever changing melodies and compressed it down into small, perfectly formed chunks of musical brilliance. Catchy and thoughtful, small but monumental, this album is quietly breaking the boundries or modern music. It can't be long before people start to notice.
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on 22 May 2006
I chanced across The Mystery Jets playing 'Zootime' live on MTV2 and were blown away by their brilliance -- they must have one of the best drummers in contemporary music at the moment. Yes, they are an odd assortment of individuals, and it must make life interesting having your dad in the band ... but they make brilliant music. It's not really what I would call progressive rock -- and I grew up with Yes, Genesis, and the prog canon -- but they have prog leanings and an inventive intelligence which makes them much more interesting than the usual 'verse-chorus-middle 8-chorus' format that most bands adopt. They have a pop sensibility I last heard in the 80s with It Bites, although musically they're less glitzy than Cumbrias finest and they have managed to perfect a mainstream quirkiness which makes them listenable again and again. The highlights for me are 'Purple Prose', 'Horse Draw Cart' and 'Zootime'. For a band with bags of intelligence, talent, and a commitment to writing songs with musical substance, turn to The Mystery Jets. Great stuff.
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on 25 May 2006
This album is mentally good. If you're into Milburn, Maximo Park, The Automatic, you will love this album. A great band. This special edition includes a dvd of the band on tour which is mental and introduces you to all of their supporting acts who may soon become big themselves. Top grade album. Little bag of hair, the boy who ran away. Crazy tunes.
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on 7 March 2006
Ok,no "On my Feet",which was the first Mystery Jets track i heard ,but the rest of the singles are all present and correct.Like other bands ,the Coral ,Zutons etc,they do a nice line in pop with a twist,especially on "You Can't Fool Me Dennis",but i love the way they stretch out further.
"Horse Drawn Cart","Little Bag Of Hair" and "Diamond In The Dark" are tracks which point to an interesting second album.I think there are a lot of interesting ideas and diversity on the album,perhaps too much ,which is why i gave it 3 stars .I still think they're a band with a lot of potential,great live too!Here's looking forward to album no 2.
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on 5 February 2007
The most amazing thing i hav ever heard, they are a serious inspiration, i wish there were 6 stars.

They have to grow on you, at first i thought what is this crazy band?

and i didnt like them

but i had to relisten and then i fell in love with them, the lyrics of diamonds in the dark, always in my mind, and you cant fool me dennis.

the way each song sticks in your mind, everyday i have a new favorite.

each song links to the next with an ending moving onto the beguining of the next song.

If there is an album to buy this year, its this, if you dont like it to beguin with keep listening, and like me you should fall in love,

i want more from them, they need another album soon
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on 29 October 2010
This album has an interesting and unparallelled sound, a great album from a great artist!
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