Of Monsters and Men Review

Although the band “Of Monsters and Men” released their first album in 2012, it remains largely undiscovered by mainstream media. The band originated in Iceland and consists of six members. Its unique style includes having both a male and female vocalist and yet the two rarely use harmonies. The entire first album has a fantastical theme, creating a whole other world within the music that gives listeners plenty of room to interpret their own meanings behind the songs.

  1. Dirty Paws

Dirty Paws isn’t necessarily a slow song; instead, it chooses to build, beginning with one instrument and ending with a melancholy roar. The lyrics are creative, talking about a war between the animals of a forest, making Dirty Paws a good song to put on the opening track.

Rating: 9/10

  1. King and Lionheart

Unlike Dirty Paws, King and Lionheart is easy enough to interpret. The theme that dictates most of the album is heavily used in this song, as the obstacles that two people face are fantastical; in the sea that’s painted black/creatures lurk beneath the deck; in the winter night sky ships are sailing/looking down on those bright blue city lights. It certainly isn’t a traditional love song, and that’s what makes it unique.

Rating: 10/10

  1. Mountain Sound

Mountain Sound is an anthem from the first note. Literally, the song talks about people who are different from others traveling far away to find where they belong. Although the song has no outrageous drum beat or electric guitar riffs, the lightness of the music and soaring vocals make it a song that is hard to not sing along to.

Rating: 10/10

  1. Slow and Steady

The album’s fourth track is a slow-moving song that features mainly female vocals and sticks to the band’s no-harmony rule. It’s lyrics talk about a person who outwardly portrays themselves as steady but is lonely and wrestling with an internal struggle. When someone’s in a relaxed state of mind it is the perfect track, but this song can be a bit too slow at times, bordering on boring.

Rating: 6/10

  1. From Finner

In the fifth song by Of Monsters and Men the band reverts to a more whimsical lyric pattern. The song talks about people traveling to a new place far from their home on the back of a giant creature. Predominantly female vocals, the track starts out almost acapella, but by the end is filled with rolling drumbeats.

Rating: 7/10

  1. Little Talks

The song that got people’s attention, Little Talks is a catchy duet that features both vocalists equally. The two voices are speaking to each other while the girl seems to be falling apart; the boy stays with her and convinces her that no matter what happens they’ll be safe. It’s obvious why the track got all the attention that it did, for it manages to present a catchy song with meaningful lyrics.

Rating: 10/10

  1. Six Weeks

Much like Mountain Sound, Six Weeks begins with a steady beat that continues throughout the song. The lyrics portray someone who is coming home, but from where is up for interpretation. Mainly male vocals, this song doesn’t stand out when it comes to the deep and meaningful lyrics that the band usually sports, but it’s catchy enough to make up for that.

Rating: 7/10

  1. Love Love Love

Another slow song on the album, this track does much better than Slow and Steady. Although it’s relaxing it never borders on boring, and the tune is steady and easy to sing along to. Somehow it manages to balance simple lyrics with deep meaning as the female vocalist sings of someone loving her when she can’t love them back.

Rating: 8/10

  1. Your Bones

Similar to From Finner, Your Bones starts out almost acapella but with male vocals, slowly building to a chorus absent of lyrics but filled with a variety of instruments. The song sounds melancholy, almost like a goodbye, but isn’t slow. It doesn’t necessarily stand out from the album, but it does fit in with the fantastical themes the band presents.

Rating: 7/10

  1. Sloom

Sloom shares a trait with Love Love Love: it’s a masterful song that manages to be relaxing without being boring. The vocalists break their no-harmony rule in this track by adding a haunting harmony at the very end of each chorus phrase.

Rating: 9/10

  1. Lakehouse

Lakehouse begins as many of this band’s songs do: gently, with a slow build. It’s similar to Mountain Sound in it’s joyful and optimistic ending, it’s the only downfall being the abrupt transition from verse to chorus. The slow build doesn’t quite flow as well, but luckily it doesn’t ruin the song.

Rating: 8/10

  1. Yellow Light

The 12th track is another slow song that leans more towards Slow and Steady than some of the other ones. It takes a reflective mood to sit through this one, for its tune is less distinct and the ending is mainly instrumental. Yellow Light is a duet that gives both the vocalists equal time on the mic, but it is not the best on the album.

Rating: 7/10

  1. Numb Bears

The closing track to the album takes a different approach than all of the other songs. It sounds almost silly, with a bouncing tone that sounds as though they had fun making it. Numb Bears is a great way to end the album.

Rating: 10/10

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