Curve Of The Earth, a fitting name for an album as spacey and dreamy as this one, brings to mind extraterrestrial beings, multitudes of stars, and galaxies beyond the comprehension of humans. Although the latest Mystery Jets album isn’t *quite* that intense, it’s definitely worth listening to. Curve Of The Earth manages to uphold several contradictions at once while not only still functioning, but creating music that’s both edgy and soft, spacey and grounding, calming and intense.
The first track, Telomere, contrasts dreamy, soft-around-the-edges vocals with sharp and edgy electric guitar lines. Bombay Blue, up next, has similarly dreamy vocals, matched by an acoustic guitar that brings a sweeter feeling to the track – that is, until you listen to the darker lyrics, like “But all the beautiful things that you love/Will one day turn into the things that you despise”. The following track, Bubblegum, is faster-paced and features a sharper, more powerful voice. The little things are what “make” this song: harmonizing backup vocals, bits of electronica, and an echoing bridge. Midnight’s Mirror begins with several voices speaking over a low bass line. Already, it has a darker-sounding vibe. Specific-sounding percussion alerts you to changes between verses and instrumentals throughout the song. 1985, the next song, is slower, relaxing, and reminiscent. The soft-sounding piano clashes perfectly with the powerful vocals. Blood Red Balloon brings a spacey feel to the album, with sharp bass and guitar lines that keep it grounded at the same time. The repetition of the line “Like a blood red balloon” is eerie, and only adds to the ethereal vibe of the album. Taken By The Tide, the seventh song, has a similar unearthly feeling that’s accented by overlapping harmonies and vocals, with a grounding effect with the bass line that’s not unlike the previous track. The spacey feeling continues with the second-to-last track, Saturnine, which opens with what sounds almost like a chorus of extraterrestrials, singing “ooh”s and “ah”s. Contrasting this, the main vocals sound sharp and clear, as opposed to the dreamy, soft quality from earlier in the album. Finally, the album closes with The End Up, a song that sums up the rest of the album well, while still managing to be low-key.
Throughout the album, several musical “themes” persist, some more vague than others. Nearly every song has simple instrumentation in the beginning that grows and builds over the course of the song, and most of the tracks feature a sick, unique instrumental (or several!). Overall, there really doesn’t seem to be anything else like Curve Of The Earth. It’s beyond unique, and the spacey, alien feelings that it gives you are not to be messed with.
Originally published on Indientry on March 16, 2016.