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Moon & Antarctica [Bonus Tracks]
     

The Moon & Antarctica [Bonus Tracks]

4.5 4
by Modest Mouse
 

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Modest Mouse's favorite topic is always the road -- not in the sense of documenting the touring musician's life, but notes on travel for its own sake. On their first major-label album after a series of superb indie releases, the sensitive rock trio has narrowed the focus of the trip: They're scrambling to get away from the crowd, or just to get away. Front man

Overview

Modest Mouse's favorite topic is always the road -- not in the sense of documenting the touring musician's life, but notes on travel for its own sake. On their first major-label album after a series of superb indie releases, the sensitive rock trio has narrowed the focus of the trip: They're scrambling to get away from the crowd, or just to get away. Front man Isaac Brock sings like he's been driving all night and plays guitar like he's staking out territory -- his signature notebending leads announce every song as his property. The band's vehicle has been upgraded, though. The sound is spare and echoing, but subtle production and some extra instrumentation (violins and keyboards) augment its air of slow, surreal discovery of a new landscape. Brock has also reined in the excesses of his songwriting: There are a couple of sprawling epics here, but also some brief acoustic meditations and compact rockers. THE MOON's highlight, though, is "Tiny Cities Made of Ashes," a dry, prickly post-disco groove that shows off the band's hardened rhythm section -- it sounds like a relative of P.I.L. raised in the American plains.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Heather Phares
Modest Mouse's Epic debut, The Moon & Antarctica, finds them strangely subdued, focusing on mortality as well as the moody, acoustic side of their music and downplaying the edgy, spastic rock that helped make them indie stars. Not that their first major-label release sounds like a sellout -- actually, the slight sheen of Brian Deck's production enhances the album's introspective tone -- but occasionally The Moon & Antarctica's melancholy becomes ponderous. Unfortunately, the album's middle stretch contains three such songs, "The Cold Part," "Alone Down There," and "The Stars Are Projectors," which tend to blur together into one 17-minute-long piece that bogs down the album's momentum. Individually, each of these songs is sweeping and haunting in its own right, but grouping them together blunts their impact. However, this trilogy does provide a sharp contrast to, as well as a bridge across, The Moon & Antarctica's more vibrant beginning and end. Though it explores death and the afterlife, The Moon & Antarctica's liveliest moments are its most effective. "3rd Planet"'s simple, ramshackle melody and strange, moving lyrics ("Your heart felt good"), the elastic guitars on "Gravity Rides Everything," and the angular, jumpy "Tiny Cities Made of Ashes" and "A Different City" get the album off to a strong start, while the fresh, unaffected "Wild Packs of Family Dogs," "Paper Thin Walls," and "Lives" bring it to an atmospheric, affecting peak before "What People Are Made Of" closes the album with a climactic burst of noise. Their most cohesive collection of songs to date, The Moon & Antarctica is an impressive, if flawed, map of Modest Mouse's ambitions and fears. [The 2004 reissue has been remastered and features BBC performances of "3rd Planet," "Perfect Disguise," and "Tiny Cities Made of Ashes," as well as an instrumental version of "Custom Concern" from This Is a Long Drive for Someone With Nothing to Think About.]

Product Details

Release Date:
03/09/2004
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0827969203422
catalogNumber:
92034

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Modest Mouse   Primary Artist
Terry Riley   Violin
Brian Deck   Keyboards
Tim Rutili   Background Vocals
Ben Massarella   Percussion
Beverly Blankenship   Banjo,Guitar,Keyboards,Lap Steel Guitar
Jeremiah Green   Drums
Eric Judy   Bass
Chiyoko Yoshida   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Brian Deck   Producer,Engineer
Phil Ek   Engineer
Simon Askew   Producer
Modest Mouse   Composer
Mary Maurer   Art Direction,Photo Illustration
Nick Fountain   Engineer
Isaac Brock   Composer

Customer Reviews

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The Moon & Antarctica 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Whatever your mood, Modest Mouse will find it in this CD. From the darkest depths of depression to the flightly feeling of love...I truly enjoy this CD. It puts me to sleep.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Admittedly, I had never listened to MM, and got hooked by Nissan's use of "Gravity Rides Everything" in an ad. The song reminded me a little bit of The New Pornographers, so I sought out the album. The tracks on this album can hardly be called songs. What they are are small bits of melody (tunelets?), which are given a lush, overproduced Wall-Of-Sound treatment. The verses consist of the same monotonous (in every sense) droning delivery. The song structure is simplistic. There are no bridges, and often no chorus. Just the same few bars of the "tunelet" repeated over and over. It reminds me of Gregorian chants. Interesting for the first five minutes, then you are done! Nissan must have used the most interesting 30 seconds of the album. This is insipid drivel for the Gen - Y types for whom this is the cool "alternative" to commercial garbage like Dave Matthews. These moody poseurs wouldn't know music if it bit them in the a**! Don't be fooled. The Emperor isn't wearing any clothes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just plain great. Modest Mouse seem to capture my every mood. This album is my personal favorite. No on will ever come close to recreating MM's unique sound. Gravity rides everything is a work of art. DANG!?
Guest More than 1 year ago
this album rocks! if you have ears you will enjoy this album. every song is great, and if you like indie rock and need something new to listen to you will really like this.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is overall a pretty good album. I like the psychedelic aspect and the progressive element of the music. Tracks 7-8-9 really blend into a musical treat. I also like tracks 1 and 6. This was my first purchase by this artist and will likely buy some of their other work. Since I have not heard their other work I cannot compare it with their earlier CD's.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great album, and their first major release. Pretty much on par with their earlier releases, this album has some great songs, but a couple of them seem to be a little overproduced.
Guest More than 1 year ago
holly monkey balls this album rulez!! it is high among my ultra-wicked reasons to live. it's really that good. my favorite has to be ''i came as a rat''. ''lives'' is brilliant as well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This CD is an awesome collection of songs. Everyone should own it. The CD has not left my CD player.