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And the Glass Handed Kites

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Album Review

Danish quartet Mew's dense and occasionally difficult And the Glass Handed Kites is old-fashioned only in the sense that it's meant to be eaten in a single sitting. This is not a single-driven record — though "Special," with its bouncy, moody chorus and octave vocal delivery, sounds like an emission from a time machine parked dead center within the heydays of early-'90s alternative rock — rather, it's a single organism. Kites takes the wisdom and volatility of the Delgados ("Chinaberry Tree"), the sonic scope of Sigur Rós ("White Lips Kissed"), and the angular guitar attack of early Ride and Dinosaur Jr. ("Circuitry of the Wolf") and melds them all into a cathartic post-rock epic that's so electrifying and unpredictable that it's almost impossible to take in with one or two listens. Fans of OK Computer-era Radiohead, My Bloody Valentine, and Disintegration-era Cure will find And the Glass Handed Kites one of the most breathtaking things to come along since the dawn of the dream pop/post-punk genres themselves.

Customer Reviews

Mew Addiction, Let it Begin

From the opening, Circuitry of the Wolf and Chinaberry Tree leave me dreaming of what it must feel like to see Mew playing live, an amazing introduction to be followed by a fresh sound the world deserves to have in their collection. Apocalypso/Special/Zookeeper's Boy is about the best 13 or so minutes of continuous rock I can think of. Louise Louisa, can’t describe it! For those who appreciate J Mascis, his contribution is an added bonus on Why Are You Looking Grave and An Envoy to the Open Fields. Each time I listen, I discover another layer of intelligence and overall outstanding craftsmanship. Powerful at times, soft and gentle at others, I wish I had the skills to convey how clever this album really is. Don’t let 30 second clips be the deciding factor; you cannot fully appreciate this album until you’ve heard every last minute! An amazing album all around, I’ve not settled down from my Mew addiction since 2004, and this 2005 album proves that there is hope in a world so filled with pretty lousy music. Unfortunately there hasn't been enough promotion behind this solid album, but finally, Europe’s best kept secret has broken and you won't be disappointed. ps. For the most part, this album flows song to song, if you only buy a song or two, it’s your loss for wondering what just happened seconds before or what’s supposed to happen when that song ends…


At last! I've been waiting to see Mew in the iTunes store (devoid of any children's albums) for months, ever since I picked up an EP of this incredible band in a record store. Hopefully, these Danes will make as many waves in the U.S. as they have in Europe, because they are creating some of the most interesting music the alternative genre has to offer. The first time I heard "The Zookeeper's Boy", along with it came the heralded title of "the catchiest song of the year" and I didn't get it (a recurring trait of mine). Catchy songs are pop songs, right? Synths, steady bass, and dark guitars are not poppy. "The Zookeeper's Boy" features a falsetto (what a great voice, though!) line of "Are you my lady?" at least a dozen times, with little variety. It's not pop. It is, still, however, one of the catchiest songs of the year and it'll take a little while for everyone to finally get it. I just got the album on July 25th, so I'm still getting through the first initial listens, and maybe I'll change my mind (highly doubtful), but so far it's a great look into what America should be listening to. Also, buy "Special". Right now. I can't stop playing it and it's only one of the masterpieces from this record. 7/28/2006

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Formed: 1994 in Hellerup, Denmark

Genre: Alternative

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

The members of space pop innovators Mew first met in the seventh grade in Hellerup, Denmark. Before they could even play instruments, the ambitious youths -- singer Jonas Bjerre, guitarist Bo Madsen, bassist Johan Wohlert, and drummer Silas Graae -- were ready to make music together, although they initially failed as a band called Orange Dog. Madsen briefly spent time in the United States before the guys came back together in their late teens as Mew. Inspired by My Bloody Valentine, the Pixies, Dinosaur...
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And the Glass Handed Kites, Mew
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