We are not often left mesmerized by the sound of an artist dangling closely to such melancholy. Not in this day. Sadness and heartbreak are preludes to sedation, and we often find the closest anesthetic. Yet when Moneen tear at the very fabric of introspection (“Great Escape”, “Redefine”), we are left moved, to the core and with utmost honesty. Like their newly abbreviated song titles, The World I Want to Leave Behind is succinct, compact, and decisively more concise than their previous efforts, distilling the frenetic but sometimes messy energy of The Red Tree. Breaching adult-contemporary (“Believe”), breaking down tempos with glorious acoustic textures (“Waterfalls”), while maintaining the urgency found on their earlier work (“Hold That Sound”) are steps towards greater prosperity; and let those yammering about the lost sound of Are We Really Happy Who With We Are Right Now? and The Theory Of Harmonial Value be the only ones worried about this new found grandeur.
Moneen sound better, their songs more accomplished, and the connection in which their lyrical content finds harmony with their music is something worth lauding. The despair in Bridges’ vocals are comparable to that of the anguish felt in the Thom Yorkes of the world- not so much in their global familiarity or scope, but in their personal connection- because when you hear Bridges or Yorke, you want to know, you believe, that you are the only one he is singing to. Case in point, “Lighters”.
The World I Want to Leave Behind is an incredible record. Don’t let it go unlistened.
(Dine Alone / Vagrant Records)