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Good News for People Who Love Bad News

Modest Mouse

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iTunes Review

Good News for People Who Like Bad News is arguably Modest Mouse’s most cohesive album to date and thankfully they sacrifice none of the traits that make the band unique and exciting. The singular phrasing and manic yowls and yelps of lead singer and songwriter Isaac Brock are here in abundance, as are quirky melodies, oddly compelling lyrics, and jagged, inventive rhythms. They’ve expanded their once skeletal sound to include slurring, stomping horns (supplied by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band), banjo, violin, and keyboards, all of which help make the album delightfully diverse and full of surprises. It features a surprising Top 40 hit that’s anchored by an irresistible, scratchy guitar line (“Float On”), several frantic, off-kilter songs that somehow stay on the rails (“Dance Hall,” “This Devil’s Workday,” “Satin in a Coffin”) and some beautifully arranged slower numbers that are simultaneously edgy and moving (“Blame It On the Tetons,” “One Chance”). This is an enduring and imaginative piece of work by one of the more adventurous pop bands around.

Customer Reviews

Don't listen to your scene friends!

Nothing is more frustrating than to see someone so caught up in the "Alternative Scene" that they ignore "The Mainstream Album(s)" of a particular band. Completely disregarding the record before the sound waves reach their ears for the sheer fact that one or two songs made it to the radio. Big deal! This album is brilliant. I personally find it far more evolved than that of "The Moon and Antarctica;" which is a blasphemous statement to some in the Modest Mouse fanatic variety. Lyrically, this is the pinnacle of Modest Mouse's music. With tracks such as "Bury Me With It," "Satin in a Coffin," and "This Devil's Workday," they have proven that the term "genre" has little bearing on their sound. Absolutely worth your money!

Beyond "Float On"

Only the bandwagon Modest Mouse fan says that Float On is as good as it gets. Quite frankly, I like this album just as much as their old ones. Yes, it's a different sound, but they'll still a hell of a band.

A "How To" on Polarizing a Fanbase

Prior to 'Good News', Modest Mouse was one of those Indie bands that were praised for their music, but received little attention in the mainstream modern rock world. 'The Moon & Antarctica' and 'The Lonesome Crowded West' are filled with Isaac Brock's sarcastic, ingenious humor, but it was apparently a little too difficult to digest for the music industry. Then 'Good News' was released. "Float On" became a hit single, and Modest Mouse was the surprise hit of 2004. All of a sudden Modest Mouse's earlier albums were selling as fast as 'Good News', and, like it or not, the band's popularity spiked. Now, this divided Modest Mouse's loyal fanbase; could it be considered "selling out"? Many certainly thought this was the case; it seemed like every radio station was playing "Float On", and as a result, many dejected Modest Mouse's material. Unfortunately for them, 'Good News' is a brilliant album. The quality of Brock's songwriting certainly hasn't declined; in fact, it seems to have improved over the course of Modest Mouse's life. The album's strongest points lie just outside of the single "Float On", though. "Bukowski" and "This Devil's Workday" provide a snarky, mischievous, sarcastic outlook on life that the band has been recording since 'This is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About', while "Bury Me With It" provides a darker, heavier sound that is unlike anything else Modest Mouse has ever produced. Other highlights include "The View", a poppy, synth-fueled song lined with lyrics that contrast the mood of the song, the airy "World At Large" and "Ocean Breathes Salty", and the driving folk-influenced "Satin In a Coffin" reminiscent of 'The Lonesome Crowded West'. Long story short, don't be blindsighted by the success of this album; it's an essential member of the unusual, complex, somewhat dysfunctional family of Modest Mouse's albums and rarities, and, in fact, may be one of the most important to their career, both professionally and musically.


Formed: 1993 in Issaquah, WA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Modest Mouse were one of the most surprising commercial success stories of the new millennium — while their music was by turns taut and elliptical, and the lyrics sometimes cryptic and introspective, the band broke through to the mainstream audience with the platinum-selling Good News for People Who Love Bad News, and they became genuine rock stars at a time when their musical peers remained cult figures. Modest Mouse was founded in 1993 by guitarist and vocalist Isaac Brock, bassist Eric Judy,...
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