Good News For People Who Love Bad News
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It's hard to pinpoint the exact moment Modest Mouse started sounding like a real band. For the longest time, singer-songwriter Isaac Brock seemed to exist solely to defy the established rules, forging forward on sheer momentum and ingenuity. Even Pavement looked relatively ordinary in comparison to the band's early releases like 1996's This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About and 1997's The Lonesome Crowded West. But on Good News for People Who Love Bad News, the frontman sounds like he's finally touching the earth, and the band--minus founding member and drummer Jeremiah Green--follows suit. A relaxed mood prevails, not so much in volume but in attitude. On the follow-up to the group's 2000 major label debut, The Moon & Antarctica, big sloppy melodies battle it out with brass on punky epics like "Float On" and "The Ocean Breathes Salty." The lyrics are simpler, the arrangements tamer, but the vitality remains. The prevailing mood is that Modest Mouse has pulled off something extraordinary here: a well-rounded, lovable record that doesn't sound anything like David Gray.
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