CD Review: MUTEMATH
By Ashley Emert
On the second track of their self-titled debut album, MUTEMATH asks if they can “break the spell of the typical.” The answer to their question is yes. Although the band is Christian, they don’t interject overtly religious references in their music – you won’t find any use of the word “God” in this album.
The first song is an instrumental that leads into “Typical.” The beginning of the song reminded me a lot of “Walkie Talkie Man” by Steriogram. The song has more meaning than that random one, however, because it’s talking about breaking away from the norm and being something more than just, well, “typical.”
There’s another instrumental track after that one, and then “Chaos” starts. It sounded a bit too much like the Police to me at first, but the chorus quickly became one of my favorites on the album. With meaningful lyrics like, “I know you stay true when my world is false,” and the energetic beat that accompanies it, this track is hard to dislike.
My favorite song on the album is “Noticed.” I found myself singing along by the end of the song and it gets me dancing every time I hear it (which has been at least seven times at this point). For me, the sign of a good song is whether or not it tosses me into a random dance party, and this one does just that.
Something that I really enjoy about this album is that each song leads into the next. There are a few instrumental songs that are just continuations of the previous tracks, with a few words from them strewn throughout. Such is the case with the slower “Stare at the Sun” which leads into “Obsolete.”
I initially had a problem with “Break the Same” because for the last couple minutes of it, the chorus of “’Cause we all break the same” is repeated over and over, which caused me to start developing a twitch. Then I realized that maybe they were trying to make a point by repeating those words – something about the monotony and everyone being the same. But then again, maybe I’ve been taking too many analytical literature classes and I’m reading too deeply into this.
“You Are Mine” and “Control” are the most obviously Christian-influenced songs on the album, even though they don’t specifically say anything about God. In the latter, the lyrics include “such a beautiful surrender.” Those words can be applied to any kind of falling in love.
“Picture” has the band singing about (you guessed it) a picture and how it can show missed opportunities and chances. After that, “Stall Out” slows the album out for the end. It picks up tempo about halfway through the song and then blends into “Reset,” to finish it off with one last instrumental tune.
To answer the band’s earlier question, yes, MUTEMATH does break the spell of the typical. They have successfully pulled off a fun album with lyrics that actually mean something. I’m sorry, Miss Jackson, but these boys are for real.