June 22, 2010

Monsters of Folk - Monsters of Folk

These guys must be joking by calling themselves Monster of Folk. If anything, Conor Oberst, Jim James, Matt Ward, and Mike Mogis should be calling themselves 'Monsters of Alternative Indie Country Rock, with just a hint of folk, and a hint of Electro-pop'. In fact, the completely unexpected electronic bliss of the opening track Dear God (sincerely M.O.F.) is like a big WTF moment, and while listening, I found myself thinking "Where is this 'Monsters of Folk' coming from?" But I loved it anyway, and it's probably my favorite song on the album. I thought it was catchy and a semi-turning point for people like M. Ward and Conor Oberst, after the very bland albums they've been coming out with. But then came Say Please, and Whole Lotta Losin', and I was like "Well that sounds more accurate", even though those songs are pretty unoriginal and 'okay', and clearly M. Ward songs.

The next song Temazcal makes itself apparent that it's a Conor Oberst song. It's got his songwriting style, and his voice. And from that point on, it's basically swip-swapping between Ward and Oberst songs. And only a couple times do James or Mogis poke their heads in to say "Hey guys, we're still here, remember?" But Ward and Oberst probably figure "Hey, we're the popular ones here, everybody knows us, so what's the point of letting them have all the songs?" Even on the album cover, Ward's expression is clearly stating "Yeah, I'm the best, that's right". And an intimidated Mogis next to him is like "Okay, I'll let you do your thing, that's alright..." To wrap it up, Monsters of Folk have an identity crisis, like many supergroups, and I wish there were more Dear God's.


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