Imagine if you can Prozak For Lovers without the Bossanova, straight-up lounge music. Now run that through an amplifier with distortion added, just a little big. Add a voice straight out of Fifty Shades of Grey singing some of the material. And then you turn the whole thing into a shoegazer/emo rendition.
That is sort of what I imagine I hear on the new album from The Mystery Plan, You Also Have Eyes, but it isn’t anything like that. This album is well-crafted music, the sonic equivalent of Glenlivet. Matured to enhance the taste but not mired down in the past. Well rounded, like an oak cask, the music holds the songs together but is an equally important part of the whole; they are better together.
I have been delaying the release of this blog for days and days because I just wanted to listen. I thought that if I started dissecting and analyzing the album, it would no longer be the fantastic package it is.
First off, I had to get past the opening track, Electric Love, which was no easy task. I got stuck in the groove of Electric Love, with its beautiful bass lines and that haunting, enchanting, electric voice shimmering and sparking that is featured in the track.
Once I got out of the first groove Electric Love, I discovered song after song that contained some of the most tasteful indie-pop I have heard recently. Six tracks later on the song Silver Lining, I found a new light on my radar, Big Supreme (a.k.a. Chris Jones), a rapper from Charlotte who has been on the scene since the 1990s. He got his start by winning rap battles on the local Hip-Hop station for months and months, holding the record for the longest run on that station. The Mystery Plan brought the track, Silver Lining, to life during the pandemic as an ode to looking at the bright side of things. The accompanying live lounge-style video was shot and cut by Jay Thomas in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Moving forward, I discovered track after track of delicious music, vocals, and lyrics. That trend maintained a steady course clean through to the closer, Weird Things People Do, which I nominate for the song title of the year. It is also a well-chosen culmination of the album.
In conclusion, I will put this album on my list of highlights of 2021. High praise, but it is for an album that reached for and attained great heights. Tasteful without being pretentious. A big sound without being overbearing. Clever without being bombastic.
In short, I adore You Also Have Eyes, the newest offering from The Mystery Plan.
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