!(https://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61jtYqYb%2BCL._SL500_AA280_.jpg “Mother Mother “Eureka"")Mother Mother new album “Eureka” sees a shift more towards rock, shedding most of their country flair and some of their eccentricity. Musically it’s still rich, with songs straddling the line between catchy and complex. If anything they’ve gotten better at their trademark intra-song shifts from head bopping fist in the air rock to grooving melodic three part harmonies. While I personally miss the eccentric country flair from their prior albums, it’s still varied and good.
Still something felt missing for me that I couldn’t put my finger on at first. Few if any of the songs off of “Eureka” pulled me in as some of their prior songs have. One of my favorite aspects of Mother Mother has always been their visually rich lyrics full of metaphors and stories and it wasn’t until my second listen that I realized “Eureka” was missing this. Their older songs like “Hay Loft” and “Neighbour” plainly lay out a story, and songs like “Train of Thought” and “Wrecking Ball” very effectively use visual metaphors to suck you in. The “Eureka” album has a few songs that still have this quality, namely “Carve a Name,” “Baby Don’t Dance,” and “In The Wings.” However, if you are like me and like your music to tickle your visual cortex and also occasionally engage you with a story then you may find this album somewhat disappointing.
Also, overall I feel the album is too studio. There are a number of songs that could use an injection of the raw energy they put into their live shows. The album version of “The Stand” is emotionally flaccid in comparison to when I heard it live during their recent appearance at the Rickshaw Stop. Live you could really hear the frustration and disgust in the chorus line: “I can hardly stand the sight of it all.” Whereas, on the album it just sounds cute and a little funny. The track “Aspiring Fires” is especially bad in this regard. For a song about being so crazy that people “run for their life” it feels rather tame without even a hint of malice hiding in the nooks and crannies. There are exceptions to this such as the song “Problems” where all three singers belt out the chorus line like a fist: “I’ve got problems! Not just ones that are little.”
That said it can be hard to capture that energy in the studio and many of their older songs are also better live. They put on a great show as the band has an excellent charisma that really shines through on stage and they are rock’n booty shaking fun.
But don’t take my word for it. You can listen to the album in it’s entirety streamed below via Soundcloud. Or just buy it. The digital version of “Eureka” is currently only $7.99 on iTunes (while Amazon has it only for $5.99, their version is missing the bonus tracks which I think are some the best songs). I may be critical of the album but there are enough fun rocking catchy songs on there that it’s worth having and they are a great group that I feel are worth your hard earned cash — especially at that price.