Modest Mouse's Epic debut, The Moon & Antarctica, finds them strangely subdued, focusing on mortality as well as the moody, acoustic side of their music and downplaying the edgy rock that helped make them indie stars. Not that their first major-label release sounds like a sellout -- actually, the slight sheen of Brian Deck's production enhances the album's introspective tone -- but occasionally The Moon & Antarctica's melancholy becomes ponderous. Unfortunately, the album's middle stretch contains three such songs, "The Cold Part," "Alone Down There," and "The Stars Are Projectors," which tend to blur together into one 17-minute-long piece that bogs down the album's momentum. Individually, each of these songs is sweeping and haunting in its own right, but grouping them together blunts their impact. However, this trilogy does provide a sharp contrast to, as well as a bridge across, The Moon & Antarctica's more vibrant beginning and end. Though it explores death and the afterlife, The Moon & Antarctica's liveliest moments are its most effective. "3rd Planet"'s simple, ramshackle melody and strange, moving lyrics ("Your heart felt good"), the elastic guitars on "Gravity Rides Everything," and the angular, jumpy "Tiny Cities Made of Ashes" and "A Different City" get the album off to a strong start, while the fresh, unaffected "Wild Packs of Family Dogs," "Paper Thin Walls," and "Lives" bring it to an atmospheric, affecting peak before "What People Are Made Of" closes the album with a climactic burst of noise. Their most cohesive collection of songs to date, The Moon & Antarctica is an impressive, if flawed, map of Modest Mouse's ambitions and fears.
Performance CreditsModest Mouse Primary Artist
Brian Deck Keyboards
Ben Massarella Percussion
Jeremiah Green Drums
Isaac Brock Guitar,Vocals
Eric Judy Bass
Chiyoko Yoshida Background Vocals
Ben Blankenship Banjo,Guitar,Keyboards,Lap Steel Guitar
Greg Ratajczak Guitar
Tyler Riley Violin
Tim Rutill Background Vocals
Technical CreditsBrian Deck Producer
Phil Ek Engineer
Modest Mouse Composer
Mary Maurer Art Direction
Isaac Brock Composer
Simon Labalestier Cover Photo
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Moon & Antarctica based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Whatever your mood, Modest Mouse will find it in this CD. From the darkest depths of depression to the flightly feeling of love...I truly enjoy this CD. It puts me to sleep.
Just plain great. Modest Mouse seem to capture my every mood. This album is my personal favorite. No on will ever come close to recreating MM's unique sound. Gravity rides everything is a work of art. DANG!?
Great album, and their first major release. Pretty much on par with their earlier releases, this album has some great songs, but a couple of them seem to be a little overproduced.
this album rocks! if you have ears you will enjoy this album. every song is great, and if you like indie rock and need something new to listen to you will really like this.
holly monkey balls this album rulez!! it is high among my ultra-wicked reasons to live. it's really that good. my favorite has to be ''i came as a rat''. ''lives'' is brilliant as well.
This is overall a pretty good album. I like the psychedelic aspect and the progressive element of the music. Tracks 7-8-9 really blend into a musical treat. I also like tracks 1 and 6. This was my first purchase by this artist and will likely buy some of their other work. Since I have not heard their other work I cannot compare it with their earlier CD's.
This CD is an awesome collection of songs. Everyone should own it. The CD has not left my CD player.
Admittedly, I had never listened to MM, and got hooked by Nissan's use of "Gravity Rides Everything" in an ad. The song reminded me a little bit of The New Pornographers, so I sought out the album. The tracks on this album can hardly be called songs. What they are are small bits of melody (tunelets?), which are given a lush, overproduced Wall-Of-Sound treatment. The verses consist of the same monotonous (in every sense) droning delivery. The song structure is simplistic. There are no bridges, and often no chorus. Just the same few bars of the "tunelet" repeated over and over. It reminds me of Gregorian chants. Interesting for the first five minutes, then you are done! Nissan must have used the most interesting 30 seconds of the album. This is insipid drivel for the Gen - Y types for whom this is the cool "alternative" to commercial garbage like Dave Matthews. These moody poseurs wouldn't know music if it bit them in the a**! Don't be fooled. The Emperor isn't wearing any clothes.