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Modest Mouse|The Moon & Antarctica

The Moon & Antarctica

Modest Mouse

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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.
© Heather Phares /TiVo

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The Moon & Antarctica

Modest Mouse

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1
3rd Planet
Modest Mouse
00:03:58

Modest Mouse, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Associated Performer - Brian Deck, Mixing Engineer, Producer - Isaac Brock, Composer, Guitar, Lyricist - Greg Ratajczak, Assistant Engineer - Jeremiah Green, Composer, Drums - Eric Judy, Bass, Composer - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer

(P) 2000 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

2
Gravity Rides Everything
Modest Mouse
00:04:19

Modest Mouse, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Associated Performer - Brian Deck, Mixing Engineer, Producer - Isaac Brock, Composer, Guitar, Lyricist - Greg Ratajczak, Assistant Engineer - Jeremiah Green, Composer, Drums - Eric Judy, Bass, Composer - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer

(P) 2000 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

3
Dark Center Of The Universe
Modest Mouse
00:05:02

Modest Mouse, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Associated Performer - Brian Deck, Mixing Engineer, Producer - Isaac Brock, Composer, Guitar, Lyricist - Greg Ratajczak, Assistant Engineer - Jeremiah Green, Composer, Drums - Eric Judy, Bass, Composer - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer - Tyler Riley, Violin

(P) 2000 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

4
Perfect Disguise
Modest Mouse
00:02:32

Modest Mouse, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Associated Performer - Brian Deck, Mixing Engineer, Producer - Isaac Brock, Composer, Guitar, Lyricist - Greg Ratajczak, Assistant Engineer - Jeremiah Green, Composer, Drums - Eric Judy, Bass, Composer - Ben Blankenship, Banjo - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer

(P) 2000 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

5
Tiny Cities Made Of Ashes
Modest Mouse
00:03:14

Modest Mouse, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Associated Performer - Brian Deck, Mixing Engineer, Producer - Isaac Brock, Composer, Guitar, Lyricist - Greg Ratajczak, Assistant Engineer - Jeremiah Green, Composer, Drums - Ben Massarella, Percussion - Eric Judy, Bass, Composer - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer - Ben Blankenship, Keyboards - Tyler Riley, Violin

(P) 2000 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

6
A Different City
Isaac Brock
00:02:54

Modest Mouse, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Associated Performer - Brian Deck, Keyboards, Mixing Engineer, Producer - Isaac Brock, Composer, Guitar, Lyricist - Greg Ratajczak, Assistant Engineer - Jeremiah Green, Composer, Drums - Eric Judy, Bass, Composer - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer

(P) 2000 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

7
The Cold Part
Modest Mouse
00:05:00

Modest Mouse, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Associated Performer - Brian Deck, Mixing Engineer, Producer - Isaac Brock, Composer, Guitar, Lyricist - Greg Ratajczak, Assistant Engineer, Guitar - Jeremiah Green, Composer, Drums - Eric Judy, Bass, Composer - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer - Ben Massarella, Percussion - Tyler Riley, Violin

(P) 2000 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

8
Alone Down There
Modest Mouse
00:02:21

Modest Mouse, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Associated Performer - Brian Deck, Mixing Engineer, Producer - Isaac Brock, Composer, Guitar, Lyricist - Greg Ratajczak, Assistant Engineer - Jeremiah Green, Composer, Drums - Ben Blankenship, Guitar - Eric Judy, Bass, Composer - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer

(P) 2000 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

9
The Stars Are Projectors
Modest Mouse
00:08:45

Modest Mouse, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Associated Performer - Brian Deck, Mixing Engineer, Producer - Isaac Brock, Composer, Guitar, Lyricist - Greg Ratajczak, Assistant Engineer - Jeremiah Green, Composer, Drums - Eric Judy, Bass, Composer - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer - Tyler Riley, Violin

(P) 2000 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

10
Wild Packs of Family Dogs
Modest Mouse
00:01:44

Modest Mouse, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Associated Performer - Brian Deck, Mixing Engineer, Producer - Isaac Brock, Composer, Guitar, Lyricist - Greg Ratajczak, Assistant Engineer - Jeremiah Green, Drums - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer - Eric Judy, Bass - Phil Ek, Recording Engineer

(P) 2000 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

11
Paper Thin Walls
Modest Mouse
00:03:01

Modest Mouse, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Associated Performer - Brian Deck, Mixing Engineer, Producer - Isaac Brock, Composer, Guitar, Lyricist - Greg Ratajczak, Assistant Engineer - Jeremiah Green, Composer, Drums - Tim Rutilli - Eric Judy, Bass, Composer - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer - Ben Blankenship, Guitar, Keyboards

(P) 2000 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

12
I Came As a Rat
Modest Mouse
00:03:47

Modest Mouse, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Associated Performer - Brian Deck, Mixing Engineer, Producer - Isaac Brock, Composer, Guitar, Lyricist - Greg Ratajczak, Assistant Engineer - Jeremiah Green, Composer, Drums - Ben Massarella, Percussion - Eric Judy, Bass, Composer - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer

(P) 2000 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

13
Lives
Modest Mouse
00:03:17

Modest Mouse, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Associated Performer - Brian Deck, Mixing Engineer, Producer - Isaac Brock, Composer, Guitar, Lyricist - Greg Ratajczak, Assistant Engineer - Chiyoko Yoshida - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer - Jeremiah Green, Drums - Tyler Riley, Violin - Eric Judy, Bass

(P) 2000 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

14
Life Like Weeds
Modest Mouse
00:06:30

Modest Mouse, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Associated Performer - Brian Deck, Mixing Engineer, Producer - Isaac Brock, Composer, Guitar, Lyricist - Greg Ratajczak, Assistant Engineer - Jeremiah Green, Composer, Drums - Eric Judy, Bass, Composer - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer - Ben Blankenship, Keyboards - Tyler Riley, Violin

(P) 2000 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

15
What People Are Made Of
Modest Mouse
00:02:14

Modest Mouse, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Associated Performer - Brian Deck, Mixing Engineer, Producer - Isaac Brock, Composer, Guitar, Lyricist - Greg Ratajczak, Assistant Engineer - Jeremiah Green, Composer, Drums - Ben Blankenship, Guitar - Eric Judy, Bass, Composer - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer - Ben Massarella, Percussion

(P) 2000 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

Album Description

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.
© Heather Phares /TiVo

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