In Mute Math’s self-titled full-length, a song called “Typical” follows a disposable instrumental introduction and presents an appropriate and honest question for the band’s audience: “Can I break the spell of the typical?” The answer to this introspective dilemma is “no,” and support for this answer is readily available throughout the album.
“Typical” is not the only song on the album where vocalist/keyboardist Paul Meany recycles the same uninspiring chorus hook multiple times throughout the song. What is most disappointing about these hooks is that they formulate the bulk of just about every song’s content. The musical experimentation, for which the members so highly tout themselves, takes a back seat to repeated phrases such as “You are mine” and “I can’t believe I’ve never noticed my heart before.”
Practically every song seems like an imitation of the few rock-genre pop stars who have managed to mainstream themselves and fit themselves into the mold of music that has already been mass-produced to musically illiterate listeners. Lit, All-American Rejects and Silverchair are a few bands that come to mind when trying to make fair comparisons to Mute Math’s bland debut. A catchy guitar riff here and there almost made me reconsider, but it’s usually followed up by a lyrical catastrophe that convinces me that it’s as bad as I originally thought.
Mute Math has received widespread praise for its live performances, which might explain why the initial sales for this album are promising. There is evidence on this album that the band members bring a lot of energy to their music, but the results are not impressive on the recorded medium. The band members take credit for some musical experimentation on this record, but make no mistake: there is nothing inspiring about what they recorded.
“Reset” live video