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Strange Heaven

Mrs. Magician

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Album Review

On their debut album, Strange Heaven, Mrs. Magician split the difference between two big indie rock trends of the 2010s, borrowing the sweet harmonies and melodies from lo-fi surf-pop revivalists like Shimmering Stars and harder-hitting rock like the Soft Pack. It may not be the most original approach, but Mrs. Magician pull it together better than some of their more unique contemporaries, reveling in the contrasts this mix of sounds affords them: they're angsty without being too whiny on "Night Life"; they capture the quicksilver emotional changes in a bad relationship on "True Blues"' tough verses and pleading choruses; and on "Dead 80s" and "Hours of the Night" — on which Jacob Turnbloom notes "I write 'f**k you' on the notes but I send you flowers" — they pair innocent '60s pop melodies with dirty words. Indeed, it's Mrs. Magician's wordplay that sets them, and Strange Heaven, apart from the bands mining similar territory, and it could be argued that their lyrics are more memorable than their actual music. Strange Heaven's songs are eminently quotable, whether it's "There Is No God"'s titular dismissal of faith (followed by a cheeky "la la la") or "Actual Pain"'s leveling of scenesters: "Every band’s trying to network or get Dum Dum Girls in the sheets." Turnbloom's tongue and pen are extra-sharp when it comes to girls and himself, however, with the knife-twisting "Don't Flatter Yourself" and its flip side, "The Spells," on which he sings "I can't be this pathetic forever." Mrs. Magician loosen up a bit on the album's second half with the dreamy '80s nostalgia of "Videodrome" and "I'm Gonna Hangout with the Lesbians Next Door & Drop Acid," but their wit remains; "The devil's on TV/I'm dead/I love you" sounds exactly like a collegiate drug freakout. Cherry-picking the best of '60s pop and '80s college rock and post-punk is a fairly bulletproof approach, and Strange Heaven shows that Mrs. Magician have a lot of potential, especially if they keep the biting wordplay and broaden their sonic horizons.

Customer Reviews

Everything I hoped it would be

Mrs. Magician's songs get stuck in your head and practically force you to listen again. The lyrics are engaging, funny, and heartfelt. Not since Milo Aukerman of the Descendents, could I feel the frustration and heartbreak of a break up song as passionately as what is brought forward here. The melodies are so strong and carefully constructed that each song sounds like a hit single.

Album of the Year

An amazing album made by some amazing guys produced by the Jesus of rock and roll (John Reis) ....bringing back the glory days of San Diego rock again! Nice work boys, I'm proud of ya.

Awesome

They played the venue I work at in nj in early march. Great show, nice guys, no eightball jackets. Record sounds amazing.