Young the Giant - Mirror Master
Star rating: 5/5
Track Listing: 12
Mirror Master is Young the Giant's fourth studio album so far, and although it blazes a trail far from where the band started, this record packs a punch. It offers many radio-friendly hits, but doesn't shy away from the lush soundscapes and experimental tendencies we have grown to appreciate. The band's previous effort, Home of the Strange, pushed more boundaries than this album, and from a production standpoint they could be considered two sides of the same coin.
Top Tracks & Takeaways
The album opener, "Superposition" is the obvious anchor track of Mirror Master. It is almost too eclectic to attract popularity, but the single's relevant and inquisitive lyrics are thought-provoking enough to merit airplay. It uses acoustic guitars, mandolins, and electronic drums to round out the sound. The band has been known to use electronic DAWs and tools including Teenage Engineering's OP-1 synthesizer, which seem prevalent here.
Other top picks, for this writer, include "Oblivion", "Mirror Master", and "Simplify". Of all the songs on the record, "Simplify" is the only track that really drives a stake in the heart of their eponymous debut. It is the closest they've gotten to writing another "My Body" in a good while.
What we liked
"Oblivion" is a fantastic song. Lead singer Sameer croons to rich heirs and trust fund kids: "But it'll be okay when all the money's gone away and they'll be free when they're reckless just like me..." He anticipates the fall from grace of a favorite son or daughter. The timing of this track seems appropriate for a year where fake news and doubts about moral objective truth is the water cooler talk of the day.
It is also worth noting that on this album Sameer promises: "grandma I'm going back to college". Some of those feelings about dropping out and comparing himself to others who might have had an "easier" path could have played a role in the writing of "Oblivion".
Not so much...
In some parts of this album one can get lost in the droning nature of the deep soundscapes that are now a staple of Young the Giant's sound. This reviewer prefers that bands "get to the point" a bit more than they did on this album.
Videos and Singles
Overall, Mirror Master will satisfy existing Young the Giant fans, and the radio-friendly singles that aim for the top 40 spots might have a chance of initiating the unfamiliar rock fan. It's easy to listen all the way through, which contrasts with previous albums that lacked the cohesiveness here. While it's not as exciting or new as other CDs, Mirror Master is a solid brick in YTG's cathedral.
Call Me Back
Heat of the Summer
Darkest Shade of Blue
You + I