Friday, April 8, 2011

I Want That You Are Always Happy by The Middle East (2011)

Kind of Like:  Boy & Bear, Grails, Godspeed You!, Fleet Foxes, Paul Simon
Genres: Post-rock, Folk, Ambient, Indie

As previously mentioned, my relationship with the Middle East started innocent enough.  I saw their SXSW set on IFC about a year ago.  Their previous album, which is also featured right here on this blog (link), was pretty good.  There were some songs that were really good that I listen to still, but the rest was fairly forgettable.  This album seems like a maturation on their part.  It starts off gloomier than the previous album, and I feel the album is a bit less upbeat in general than their last.  The first couple songs are like a cup completely full of water; they swell but they never reach that breaking point.  Then there are a few songs that do and also some more upbeat songs.  I have a challenge for you: I challenge you to listen to this song and when the vocals come in, DO NOT THINK OF PAUL SIMON.  Can you do it?

That being said, the vocals are pretty varied.  But, I think the overall feeling of the vocals throughout the album (and even the instruments perhaps) is haunting.  The songs in general are pretty varied, and I think overall this album is quite a soothing experience, from the early swells to the piano with just a strange old sounding voice clip superimposed in the background in "Sydney to Newcastle":

Since the album has a plethora of sounds, here is one more preview:

Listen Here

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