Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mesh: A Perfect Solution review

The latest album from Mesh is, as expected, something special in the world of electro-rock. With few exceptions, A Perfect Solution takes everything that was great about We Collide and takes it up a notch. I think this is the band's heaviest album by a long shot. The one thing sacrificed is the level of variation between tracks that the last album had, but A Perfect Solution makes up for it in the quality of these 11 songs.

"If We Stay Here" was the perfect choice to open the album. It's heavy, catchy, and dark. They seem to be channeling Depeche Mode even more than usual in this one, which is not a bad thing. I think it would also be a great choice for a single down the road.

The leading single, of course, is "Only Better," which is one of the most dynamic and melodic songs on the album. You'll hear me say this a lot in this review, but I really think this was the best choice for a single; it seems the band made some very careful choices in the organization of this album and I think it really pays off. "Only Better" is also one of the most beautifully and fully produced songs I've heard in a while. The odd thing about the album version is that after the song fades out, we get an instrumental outro, in the vain of Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence" from Violator. Later on, several of the other songs do this. Luckily, these outros are still musically interesting, so I don't mind them, but some people in the iPod generation might be slightly annoyed at these attachments which are not really a part of the song itself.

"Everything I Made" gives a synth counter-melody like I've come to love, similar to the last album's "Step By Step." Again with the organization, I can't think of any other song that would have been a better choice to follow "Only Better."

The following songs are all great, heavy tunes similar in style. My only complaint is that there could be more variation between them. We have a little bit, with the 12/8 "Want You," the soaring melody of "How Long," and the (slightly) gentler tone of "Is It So Hard," but compared with the last album, which had everything from "Crash" to "Room with a View" to "The World's a Big Place," A Perfect Solution just seems to have more of a sameness to it.

This might be more of a problem for me on a weaker album, but this one is about as strong as they come (indie or otherwise, in my opinion). The similarity of some of the songs might be annoying to some, but I say, 'If it ain't broke, who gives a fuck?' Also, just because they sound similar in style doesn't mean they all sound like the same song; they don't. They're just so well-written and beautifully produced that I can't recommend this album enough. If you like electro, or even if you just like rock, do yourself a favor and give A Perfect Solution a look. Muchos kudos to Mesh for what is quite possibly their best album yet.

Caius's rating: 4.5 stars

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