Recap: Strangers to Ourselves – Modest Mouse

By - Friday, March 20th, 2015

It’s been eight prolonged years for impatient fans, but March 17 marked the release of Modest Mouse’s sixth studio album, Strangers to Ourselves.

Touching upon several experimental sounds, the album bounces all over the place–mostly in a rewarding way. It may not be album of the year but it’s definitely worth spinning the record, purchasing the CD or lending a listening ear to the tracks on Spotify.

Front man Isaac Brock is known for having an expansive taste and a frenzied vocal style—on the latest album these stylistic choices are quite apparent. Popular singles on this album include “Coyotes,” “Lampshades on Fire,” and the song most comparable to the traditional, exemplary sounds of Modest Mouse, “The Best Room.”

Second-to-last tracks on any given Modest Mouse album always seem to be a dominant fan favorite and “The Best Room” follows in the footsteps of “Life Like Weeds” and “People as Places as People.” Aside from the vocal stylings of Brock, you may be able to identify familiar voices such as The Shins’ James Mercer.

The most eccentric song is “Pistol,” named in reference to Gianni Versace’s murderer, Andrew Cunanan. Aside from having a lyrically eerie backstory, the song incorporates odd drumming elements and peculiar vocals that are much deeper than the Modest Mouse usual.

To celebrate and promote Strangers to Ourselves, Modest Mouse stopped by The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon to play a live version of “Lampshades on Fire,” which is currently locked in at number two of Adult Alternative Songs.

In connection with the album, a ‘linguistic remix generator’ has been revealed. It allows users to type in a sentence, consisting of no more than 96 characters, and will incorporate the sentence with sounds, visuals and mixed media.

Another added bonus can be found on Spotify in the form of track-by-track commentary from Isaac Brock himself.

Some may think Modest Mouse is selling out, others may see the album as strictly mediocre after such an elongated reprieve, but at the end of the day, Modest Mouse’s endless talent is evident and gives listeners a few hopeful tracks worth diving into.

 

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