The Mystery Plan. Again.

Back in July, I listened to the album, You Also Have Eyes by The Mystery Plan, but I didn’t feel good about what I reported, so I revisited the album. I listened to it again, several times in fact, and ran the CD through my big speakers in the music room. I came away with a different perspective of what I heard, so I will do a do-over and write up my new experience with the album.

First observation: I listened to the CD that the boys in the band sent me. I like the physical medium. It’s a step back in time to the golden days of the records. I still enjoy listening to records, although all the other mediums, including CDs and streaming, have places, and I frequently visit them. I listened to 429 albums in 2020; 210 of them were vinyl records, 100 CDs, three cassettes and 166 steamed through various sources. So, yeah, I like listening to physical pieces of music, and I had a good experience listening to You Also Have Eyes by The Mystery Plan. Thank you for the CDs, Mystery Plan

From The Mystery Plan‘s Bandcamp page, I learned that you also have eyes is a compilation of songs from their last few albums, plus two new recordings. It was released July 16, 2021, so it is still relatively new.

The opening song, electric love, starts with a short ditty that evolves with an excellent deep bass playing with some gentle synths and a gentle voice floating over it all. At two minutes, give or take a few seconds, the vocal gets a bit stronger and takes a prominent spot with the bass faded down, but it doesn’t go away. Some percussion and synth join it. And then, the vocal gets very sensual. She sounds like she is enjoying whatever she is doing or what someone else is doing with her. The vocal gradually fades to a sound more like a breathing exercise, and the music takes a back seat with gentle synths and then ends.

Track two, the golden moon and the silvery sea, opens with some sweet bass lines, and then the whole band joins in. This song has some serious grooves, toe-tapping and head-bobbing music.

The Mystery Plan is: Amy Herring, Otis Hughes, Patty McLaughlin, Jefferson Chester, Jason Herring

Tracks 3 and 4 have gentle synths leading the way.

Track 5 is a bit faster-paced and revisits the sensual singing. 

Track 6 is silver lining and features Big Supreme on some mighty fine vocals. Straight-up hip hop and a stand-out song from where I am listening.

Track 7, wonder why is synth-pop in a good way.

Track 8, those stars, is a favourite of mine. It opens with some sweet bass and introduces a sax that takes us into a jazzed-up song, and I liked the references to looking at the stars. Jazz and celestial objects, you can’t go wrong with that combination, and  The Mystery Plan does not falter. This track is a solid 10 out of 10 stars and 7 minutes of glorious music.

There is some excellent production on this recording, such as playing with the spatial shape of the music. Track 9, always, is a perfect example of that, with the sound moving from left to right and then back. Some voices seem to float around the centre of the stage but feel that they are not upfront but a bit further back. Ten takes us a long way to heaven in what I would call pop-rock. It has an almost retro feel, like Strawberry Fields with Vangelis on synths and Jeff Beck on guitar. Weird things that people like me can imagine.

Track 10, wonder why, is remixed by Peter Anderson. More pop music. It is a song that I laid back and let my mind wander while I listened, good stuff.

11 is before you go more of the same synthpop that continues where track 10 left off—excellent percussion, especially at the end.

This most excellent album closes with weird things humans do. Gentle acoustic guitars with samples and synths that slowly build with some up-tempo, and then some discrete percussion and bass slip into the mix, and we close sixty minutes of a delightful album.

It is easy to get lost in this album, and it is a good listen that I recommend, 10 out of 10 stars.

p.s. The Mystery Plan do not like shifting for capital letters, their songs are shown in lower case as they appear in Bandcamp as well as on the CD liner.

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