Release Date: October 4th, 2011
Reviewed By Evelyn Miska Krieger
If your only understanding of Mutemath was that they find influence in bands such as New Order, The Stone Roses and Radiohead, you’ll likely be expecting a very specific sort of style and sound. The big surprise on Odd Soul is that the tracks are anything other than what one might expect. While past albums may have drawn on more of that inspiration, Mutemath’s latest full-length album runs the gambit in terms of style.
The album’s title track gets things going with a good blend of blues and rock and the song is anything but mopey and dull. The guitar riffs are chock full of attitude and create a great opening feel for the rest of the album. “Prytania” continues things with a faster tempo but similar style as “Odd Soul.” There’s a definite liveliness and energy with some nice nods to 1970s rock and roll. “Tell Your Heart Head’s Up” is one of the catchiest songs of the 13-track collection with a great chorus and some serious rock and roll mixed with just enough alternative styling to keep the song fresh and interesting when combined with the rest of the album.
“Cavalries” continues the musically historical references and ups the dose of that same 1970s influence as heard on the opening track. Lead singer Paul Meany’s vocals keep up with the shifting genres and tie all the sounds together. “One More” initially seems like it’s going to verge into that Radiohead/Stone Roses territory with the opening ethereal instrumentation and dreamy vocals, but the beginning is deceptive and the song moves back into that classic rock and roll territory as found on many of the other tracks. It may be startling at first but as “One More” dips back and forth between extremes, it begins to make sense and just about could be representative of the entire album’s span.
For some listeners the funk may be too much, especially if you were expecting shoegaze, but there’s something very refreshing about the songs on Odd Soul and it’s nice to hear a band that is able to show off some true talent rather than being totally dependent on post-production to make up for lack of ability.