Friday, May 30, 2008
Mates Of State - The Re-Arranger
I have a place in my heart for pop music. Generally, I like it mixed with other genres (metal, noise, etc), but every now and then, I love me some straight up pop. And Mates Of State are usually the ones to give me my fix. Ever since I was introduced to Team Boo at my radio station in 2003, I have been a big fan. And while I feel like it would be near impossible for the Mates to ever let me down, it's still nice to know that their new record, Re-Arrange Us is just as fantastic as their last one, Bring It Back.
Bring It Back was a big departure as we saw Mates Of State using more instruments and layering the voice tracks, giving them a much more lush sound. While Re-Arrange Us isn't a significant change by any means, they are still able to refine their new sound, making more focused songs that are as catchy as ever. I mean, the semi-title track, "The Re-Arranger," is possibly their best song ever (yes, I actually mean that).
So no, their sound hasn't really changed. If you liked Bring It Back, you should have similar feelings towards Re-Arrange Us. And in case you were worried that Mates Of State started writing lyrics that actually makes sense, fear not. Things are just as vague and poetic as before. Like in "Get Better," with "I propose a less serious boat. But don't mistake it for a party of jokes." But every now and then you get the idea of something important being said. Again in "Get Better," it starts off "Forget all your politics for a while." Sorry guys, but I don't really care for politics in my pop. Although, maybe it's been there all along and I just haven't noticed it.
Re-Arrange Us finds Mates Of State in prime form. They're growing up (they have two kids now) and so is their music. It's as good as anything they've done and I still want to sing along to all of the songs even though I don't know the words. Luckily, there's a lot of "da das" and "no nos" so I'm safe for now.
And there's interchangeable album covers! They have the frames on the first sheet and on other sheets they have different pictures of them. Hooray for fun!
And here's the seriously weird video for the single "Get Better," directed by Steve Choo.