Album Reviews

#Sassafras: Young the Giant

#Sassafras: Young the Giant

Young the Giant | Mind Over Matter – Fueled By Ramen
Record Label: (Released: January 21, 2014)

The last 3 years for Young The Giant have been a whirlwind of success for the band. They released their debut album in 2010 and spent the next two and half years touring under the album’s success, due in no small part to their hit single “My Body”. The follow-up to a big first album can be a risky measure once the bar is set. On their second LP, the California boys make a solid effort to at least meet (if not exceed) the expectations.

Recorded with Justin Meldal-Johnsen in the producer’s chair, Mind Over Matter ramps up with the dreamy pop of “Anagram. For minutes they blend dancing guitar, lush strings and pop vocals ending in a delayed cavalcade of sounds. From there they launch into the rock of the album’s first single “It’s About Time”. Heavy guitar riffs repeat with warbled keys before vocalist Sameer Gadhia hits the mic. Gadhia switches from direct and explosive to soft and airy as the song moves into the bridge. It’s a dynamic and chewy tune that is a great reintroduction to the band after their studio hiatus

The title track brings to mind the great Bee Gees production of the late 70s, not unlike the latest from Broken Bells (although Gadhia stays with his vocal style instead of opting for a Gibb falsetto). “Firelight” is a gently finger-picked number with ethereal backing vocals. If it we’re stripped down to just an acoustic, you might mistake it for a folksong.

“Daydreamer” hits with rapid drums by Fran├žois Comtois. The lyrics run like a daydream with lines like “It’s so affected, that color”-corrected night, but you’re falling fast through plastic skies”. Later, the danceable beats continue with “Eros”. “But I want to dance and I’m not dancing alone” proclaims Gadhia with the band providing testimony in the form of a 80′s influence groove.

Mind Over Matter has the members of Young The Giant proving themselves to be more than one-hit wonders, backing up their previous success with what may end up being another great step in the band’s history. The album is diverse with different textures and sounds but all tied together with the common thread of a band who have staked their claim in music.

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Mark Nason

January 22nd, 2014

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