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20 June 2009 @ 10:58 am
The Most Serene Republic: The Ever Expanding Band  

It’s been a few days since The Most Serene Republic’s latest effort, …And The Ever Expanding Universe, leaked online. Since I’m such a big fan of theirs, I was delighted to listen immediately. However, I would say that it takes a person a few listens to really enjoy this record. After each listen, you seem to like it a lot more than you did the first time you tried giving these guys a listen. Soon enough, you do end up loving this album, even if you’ve never listened to The Most Serene Republic before. Dave Newfield produced the album, which may have been a good choice on the band’s part. A whole new appreciation for TMSR is achieved when the album is given a listen. Although they’re already a respect-worthy band, you can’t help but hold The Most Serene Republic in an even higher regard.

The first track, “Bubble Reputation,” isn’t as good as most of their other intros to previous albums, but it’s still a Most Serene Republic-esque welcome. The next song, “Heavens to Purgatory,” is great! When it first surfaced the Internet, I listened to it on repeat. It’s a different side of the band, but there’s still a lively feel on it.

“Vessels of a Donor Look” gives me an I Can Hear This Heart Beating As One feel. It captures the pop that Yo La Tengo carried out in songs like “My Little Corner of the World.” One song I love from this album is “Phi.” It reassures that …And The Ever Expanding Universe sounds like one whole record to play during those summer road trips, where the windows are rolled down and the wind is blowing in your face and messing up your hair.

Other albums, Population and Phages, were denser, but this album lightens things up a bit. While previous works had more glitches and anger, …And the Ever Expanding Universe embodies a more laid-back feeling, like the carefree desire to lounge around and feel a cool breeze coming through the window. Needless to say, Population, Phages, and even Underwater Cinematographer are unique in their own ways, but …And The Ever Expanding Universe has something different about it that draws itself away from the band’s other work.

However, what doesn’t change on this record are Adrian Jewett’s and Emma Ditchburn’s voices’ abilities to blend so well together. “The Old Forever New Things” contains the often-filtered voice of Jewett. The Most Serene Republic often allude to BioShock, and “Patternicity” may be the spot on this album in which the video game gets its spotlight. My favorite song here is probably “Four Humours.” The drumming is top-notch, the vocals sound incredible, and the melody is perfect throughout the entire track. The closing track is “No One Likes A Nihilist,” a song that builds up and then calms back down –a satisfying closure to a great experience.

The Most Serene Republic never fail to impress me. They have superb musicianship. Nearly everything on this album is carefully detailed and perfectly aligned. Perhaps all this praise is due to bias, but honestly, I feel like this band has a lot to offer. One can hear the development and growth of this band when they listen to their debut, Underwater Cinematographer, and listen their way to …And The Ever Expanding Universe. This is one very smart, quirky band. A
Current Mood: impressedimpressed