|review & interview content, as well as web site graphics & design, copywrite 2003-2004 Euphonia Online. use of materials granted only with reasonable purposes.|
| DESTINATION: BEAUTIFUL
Tooth and Nail Records
|1) Embers and Envelopes
2) This Time Is The Last Time
3) All Deliberate Speed
6) Last Call
7) Skyline Drive
<< 8) Soundtrack For Our Movie >>
10) Giving It Away
11) Goodbye, Goodnight
| Today, the modern world is divided into a pair of distinguishable classes of human beings: Those who are huge fans of the band Mae, and those who haven't heard Mae yet.
I am proud to be of the former, and I loyally take the time to evangelize this band. Mae's first release on label Tooth and Nail Records, Destination: Beautiful, is proof of what the support of a label can offer. The songs contained in the band's 2002 self-released EP consisted of four songs that can be found on the new record. The songs are incredibly catchy--the good kind of catchy, not the kind of Britney Spears catchy where you hear the song in a Target and nearly resort to shoving forks into your ears to drive the melody from your head.
Destination: Beautiful starts off with a track called "Embers & Envelopes," a song focusing on reconciling an unspecified broken relationship post-falling out that is so good you may believe it to be the album's swan song that has been stuck at track 1. This belief is shattered when the next song you hear, "This Time Is The Last Time," reaches your soul via the auditory canal. This song is saturated with sharp, emotional acoustic guitar and cynical imagry. The dark themes of "This Time..." couple with the band's consistently poppy sound makes for a brilliant combination that shouldn't sound good, but does.
While many bands tend to stick to a general mood on an album--this record dark, this record happy--Mae proves that it will diverge from this tendency as the near-sinister lyrics of "This Time Is The Last Time" ("Wave now goodbye/it's the lesson that you've been given/You can always move on to better things...") to what may be my favorite track on the album, "Soundtrack For Our Movie" ("I'm directing the scene that has you and me forever/Well I'm so in love with you..."). The song, track eight on the album, showcases a boy's blissful romance to a melody set off by perfected guitar chords and a joyful keyboard solo by Rob. Go on ahead and admit it--you love sappy romantic love songs. Don't worry... we all do, deep down.
The next song, "Summertime"--track nine--features a beautifully detailed narration of a couple choosing to leave behind the flaws of society to be together somewhere exclusive. The listener truly feels as though they, too, are "Driving away/Leaving it all behind." Through this album, Mae proves to be brilliant lyricists, without the cliche dreary mindsets their scenemates tend to share.
The instruments blend like a dream. The guitarwork has an acoustic focus that keeps the atmosphere of each song light. The chords and melodies are garuanteed your choice between a foot tap or head nod or both. In fact, the sound is so uncomplicated and authentic that Mae's acoustic rerecording of "This Time Is The Last Time," performed for the now-defunct MP3.com Studios, is just a stone's throw from the sound of the original.
The band has been consistently touring since Destination: Beautiful's 2003 release, which includes shows in Japan and a spot on the Warped Tour. However, just as you can't expect a master painter not to sketch on a napkin every now and then, Mae has already spent time in Seattle recording demos with their labelmate, producer/songwriter Aaron Sprinkle, and the band plans to record again in the coming fall.
I'm sure that once you've been hooked by this unstoppably brilliant band, you'll be anticipating another release as eagerly as I am.