The Human Race (2003)

9 October 2006 | Por | Categorías: 00's, Demos, Discos, Grupos

There are people who find a special pleasure in prolonging the hope that precedes to the tasting of a plate, musical or no musical. And, really, this wait can sometimes increase the pleasure of listening a record. Nevertheless, the time also favors the creation of false expectations, the appearance of invented illusion around a few magnified signals during the pass of the days. So, this week, I doubt what it the real value of the record work of Mook, who, after mouths of waiting or oblivion, it finally has come to my hands. Because, we knew Mook, the personal project of Jill Farrar, thanks to a few and brilliant songs in myspace, and the doubt makes an impression on us when we listen their records, it seems to be impossible the high level maintained in all the songs of the record.

The work of Mook is contained (at the moment) in two works; Everything That You Are and The Human Race, records which were published near in time and with very slight stylistic differences. Thus, first of all, we will have to make the decision about what record I must comment, and my decision is talking about The Human Race simply because of being the most publicized record by the own author, and because of its character, slightly more opened, which confers certain additional to the sound. Any case, all the commentaries for The Human Race are valid for their predecessor.

The Human Race moves with well-known coordinates, those from the acoustic Pop with a marked accompaniment of synths and tinned orchestation, thus, in some themes it reminds to distant cousins as Kings of Convenience, although the world of Mook is different, musically, of infinite dream. And, frequently, ethereal touches. On the other hand, under the melancholy which comes off the songs of The Human Race we find a great optimism, thus the sound will be the one in charge to offer the counterpoint to the spirit of the record, who looks at the future with hope.

Song by song, we find a more diverse work (or perhaps, dispersed, everyone will draw their conclusions) than we could think. We have perfect Pop choirs, with infinite melancholy thanks to the work of the synths and also thanks to the silky voice of Jill Farrar. The disc begins with one of these themes, Everything You Are, with great presence of the electronics and pretty melody. The formula will be repeated in Glue and One In A Million, being these the most popular themes of the album, I cannot find any problem in these three songs, with immediate effect and perfect balance between the acoustic and electronic side of Mook. But the surprise of the record is the unknown facet of Jill Farrar, and it is the most traditional part, folk, of her music; Tear Down The Stars and its deficiency of synths mark one of the algid moments of the record, with Jill Farrar with a role a similar to a typical songwriter role. The following theme, Out of The Blue, follows the same way than its predecessor, with a piano marking the development of a song that, before the entrance of the synths, it makes you think that it could have been the perfect theme to play in some old tavern many years ago. Monday’ s Child, more ethereal song, it comes back to the more popular side of the music of Mook, obtaining some of the best moments of record. Nevertheless, sometimes, so much liking for the ethereal gives as a result dull themes like Parallel Lives, theme that confuses dream and drowsiness, and this results to be totally unnecessary. The rest of the record will continue developing between the electronic and folk facets of the sound of the group, with a clear advantage for the first one, when, (personal opinion) Mook reaches a greater long term impact with songs of more traditional origin.

To sum up, The Human Race results to be a recommendable work, even though the conclusion to extract can be that Jill Farrar would be able to offer much more if she was a little centered in developing the personality of each one of her songs, and if she sometimes forgot the use of the electronics, decisive for her sound, it is also a heavy load for the evolution of the sound.

Note: When I received both CD’ s from Mook, directly bought in their Web, I found the records in CD-R format in a slim case, fact that Jill Farrar does not comment anywhere. The CDR’s have the corresponding design but it would be recommendable that this was noticed in web of Mook.

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