It is apparent that the synthesizer movement has gained full steam. Mutemath catches onto this trendy sound in their November 13th release, Vitals. Though the album does not match up to the likes of synth-powerhouses CHVRCHES or BØRNS, it is still a pleasant listen. As an added bonus, the musicality of the new release happens to provide mood music for a day in The District.
“Joy Rides” is a clear and happy addition to the record; it should strictly be listened to when enjoying the sunniness of a clear-skied day in the city. Off the exuberant coattails of “Joy Rides,” the hopefulness of “Light Up” seems fitting to be blasted out of a boom whilst wearing a brown duster: “Don’t say enough, we’re not out of love…hearts go astray, sparks slip away but I have to say, I still light up for you.” Building upon this strongly positive intro, “Monument” would be most appropriately listened to while running the monuments with a SO. Though it may be incredibly cliché–“Let’s make a monument for our love, our love”–it just works.
A few songs into the release, Mutemath offer a much more contemplative, despairing tone. The airy echo of “Stratosphere” alongside its Tron-like beat functions as rainy day music. It would nicely complement a night of solo sauntering under the Route 29 overpass by the Georgetown Waterfront. On one hand, you could add “All I See” onto your listening of “Stratosphere.” However, I warn that you might get too caught up in your feelings. This track is very minimalistic on lyrics, but they are nonetheless hard-hitting: “Your face is all I see…Your smile, tears, your laughter have captured me.”
Post despair, Mutemath creates some stellar mood music. I really hate instrumentals, yet “Vitals” is not all that bad. It’s pretty groovy in its own right. It may be worth a listen when burrowing deep into the heart of LAU? Also, might you need a new song to nap to post studying? “Composed” deserves a try. I’m not saying it’s a bad song; it is just dreamy and repetitive over a really liquid beat. “Used To” builds off of the introspective nature of “Composed,” and is my personal favorite track on the album. It is a rarity in the realm of remembering love lost. While lead singer Paul Meany croons, “I still recall a time you were on my mind monopolizing each and every second,” he does so over an obscure, yet clearly positive beat. If you ever find yourself becoming lost in your memories, this would be an appropriate soundtrack. Lastly, “Remain” is a softly motivational song. If you are winding down, and need a quick boost to feel more prepared for any type of assessment in the days to come—you should give this track a try.
All in all, Vitals is a decent album; I am not inspired to really delve into the band, but I enjoyed listening to their new offering.