This album came out in 2010, but "The Cave" still garnered 4 nominations this year:
- Record of the Year
- Song of the Year
- Best Rock Performance
- Best Rock Song
They were nominated, but didn't win, Best New Artist and Best Rock Song (for "Little Lion Man") at last years' awards. I sincerely hope this year they are treated better. This album's pretty deserving of it.
The title track, "Sigh no More" starts it all off. I put on the album today while packing up my room, and had to keep stopping to add songs to my playlist so I didn't miss the ones I liked. It was tough, because I got so engrossed in the music and naturally just kept on going. Not that it's necessarily happy music - this first track might be enough for some people to turn the CD off altogether. However, if you can stick out the harmonies at the beginning and get to the meat of the song, there's brilliance. "Love that will not betray you, dismay or enslave you - it will set you free." Hold onto that.
"The Cave" is our Grammy single this year, and here's the video:
"Winter Winds" gives us yet another video. Enjoy!
And now for the only single I'm not a huge fan of, "Roll Away Your Stone."
To give a little taste of something different, here's a Bookshop session for "White Blank page."
"I Gave You All" is a little more on the mellow side. It's very sad, like a lot of what's being said here, but he's understanding in a way you don't hear from a guy very often. It's a piece of rage and regret as well, with only a slight intense moment of build up in power.
One that you may be very familiar with, here's the video for "Little Lion Man."
"Timshel" is incredibly calming. The harmonies that I've failed to go nuts about so far are gorgeous. They have been, really, for the past tracks as well. They're just very prominent in this one given the background being so slight. It's a great group together-ness song in an interesting way. I'm never 100% sure of what they're getting at in each number, but I think that's what makes it so likable. For songs so incredibly full of lyrical work, there's much more to get from them for each person.
One of the best non-singles on here is "Thistle & Weeds." It's haunting, which I know I use as a description maybe a little to often, but it's the only way I can properly describe that sound. The lyrics drone on in this pulling way that grips you into paying attention and feeling. It builds in power and poignancy to that climatic moment. I just love everything about this through the whole song.
"Awake My Soul" has such a cute little up and down beat and melody. I do like it a lot. It's like skipping across the fields of Britain. Or Ireland? I don't know. It's fun and the only song I'd describe as cute on the album. It's fitting for the album as a whole, promise, it's just got this pub feel to it, while maintaining the loved M&S sound we need to be okay with it all. The pick up towards the end is gentle enough to fit, but fun enough to jam.
Maybe my least favorite song on the album, and that's saying something for one of the few CDs I'm pretty sure I could listen straight through to without skipping, is "Dust Bowl Dance." I do like the dark tone to it that opposes the string plucks that yearn of positivity. Like I said, it's hard for me to actually call it a least favorite. It's still really good. It's still got intense lyrics that you wouldn't expect, but remain gripping.
"After the Storm" is a wonderful ending number. It's got an end-of-the-night tone, and a sound of wrapping things up after every bit of pain and joy we've been through along the album's journey. The lyrics are content and solemn and finishing it all.
Added to My Playlist:
- "Sigh No More" - Spotify, YouTube
- "The Cave" - Spotify, YouTube
- "Winter Winds" - Spotify, YouTube
- "White Blank Page" - Spotify, YouTube
- "Little Lion Man" - Spotify, YouTube
- "Thistle & Weeds" - Spotify, YouTube
- "After the Storm" - Spotify, YouTube
Like I think I mentioned earlier, this was one of my favorite personal new discoveries of 2010. What's cool to me is that every time I listen to this album, or even with some of the songs, I hear something new and catching. Not many albums, let alone songs, can do that. The style is innovative and clever, with music that has hit the pop scene in a totally different way. This band actually gave me a bit of hope for mainstream music listeners' tastes.