Since August 2011 just about every time I turned on Philly’s Radio 104.5 I was ear blasted with the single “Little Talks” by Icelandic indie/folk sextet “Of Monsters and Men”. This first single is energetic, melodic, and evokes a smile just about every time it’s heard. It’s the kind of single that makes you want more, so when I found their full length album “My head is an Animal” due to hit the states on April 3rd on my desk, I couldn’t wait to pop it in and hear what else this band had to offer.
The first track “Dirty Paws” pulls you in with that same feeling you get from a lot of Indie albums…I heard the same style of boy/girl doubled vocals and drum beats I have heard before with bands like The 1900’s, Faded paper Figures, and even Straylight Run…It’s a soft track with a good buildup and a great start.
As the Album progressed with “King and Lionheart”, “Mountain Sound” and “Slow and Steady” I kept thinking to myself…”I’m not bored…this is nice…but when is going to pick up?”. Don’t get me wrong, I love the album, but after hearing that first single over and over again on the radio and waiting nearly 8 months for more music, I simply set the musical bar too high.
What I liked…
The feel of the record is good. The album as a whole is more like their second single in the states “Love, Love, Love” (track 8), slow moving and to the point. Everything is pleasant and it’s the perfect album for driving around with your windows down on a lazy summer day. The overall feeling of the record is carefree, so much so that you may find yourself fighting the urge to serpentine your hand out of the car window like you were in a Sheryl Crow video.
The lyrics flow well. Sometimes I found them hard to understand due to inflection and general closed minded Americanness. My first mental deciphering of them was WAY more hilarious than the actually lyrics themselves, but overall the words fit, and went well together.
They use the fake-out ending. This is a device I really love as a musician…there is no better feeling than making your listener feel the song is over, then keeping it going.
What I didn’t like
The album is littered with many lyrical stand-ins such as “HEY” and “La la la,” so much so that I feel they could have titled the album “HEY LA” and it would have been entirely appropriate. Needless to say, they could stand to expand upon their repertoire of filler syllables..
It’s slow. While not a bad thing, I just expected more…they put out their most upbeat song straight out the gate and I found myself just waiting for “Little Talks” to play again.
It’s repetitious. In any given song on the record, if you focus on the catchiest lyric, you will know the words to about the last 40 seconds or so…but that makes it easy to sing along to.
Why you should buy it.
Because you need some diversity in your life…I’m sure your record collection is vast and impressive but you’re getting older and it’s time you tried something new.
“Little Talks” alone is worth the album price…like you never bought a record for one track (well, before iTunes anyway). Besides, the other songs are good too.
You are not in danger of being labeled a Hipster…while totally the kind of band hipsters would flock to, (They liked this album back in September 2011, you know, before it was cool.) The radio has made Of Monsters and Men popular enough to keep the hipster masses away.
And finally…the girl kind of looks a bit like Bjork, with a Skrillex haircut
My Head is an Animal by Of Monsters and Men in stores April 3rd 2012