The Moon & Antarctica [Bonus Tracks]

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Douglas Wolk
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Douglas Wolk
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.
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.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/9/2004
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 827969203422
  • Catalog Number: 92034

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
Bob Ludwig Mastering
Simon Askew Producer
Modest Mouse Composer
Mary Maurer Art Direction, Photo Illustration
Nick Fountain Engineer
Isaac Brock Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Nature Nature Nature

    This album in very in tact with nature. Dont believe the silly "Ugly Casanova" stories, Issac Brock is just really cool. It's one of modest mouse's better albums as a whole. But the best songs by them can be found on other albums. If you want to start listening to Modest Mouse, this is a good start.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Aliens Make Music

    The Moon and Antarctica can best be described as this: three aliens atempting to play folk rock. The result is strangely melodic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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