I really don’t know what has taken me so long but here’s my review of Beneath the Skin, the album I’ve been waiting years for from my favorite band. Overall, I really like this album. I admit it took a second to grow on me because they did change their sound quite a bit. I do like the first album (My Head is an Animal) better because they have more upbeat faster songs, however I am most definitely not disappointed because there is nothing more hauntingly beautiful than an OMAM song. I do feel like although they are definitely expanding their style and experimenting beautifully, some of these songs just take too long to build up, are too slow overall for my taste, or sound too similar to each other.
1. Crystals: This is the first song I heard cause they released it before the album release and I was instantly impressed. As always, the lyrics are poetic and gorgeous and filled with lovely imagery. This is probably my favorite song on the album because I can just hear the passion and emotion and there is an interesting use of instruments..I love the drums!
2. Human: This song isn’t one of my favorites on the album but I still love the poetic lyrics, powerful emotion, interesting music. Even though it’s beautiful, something about it just doesn’t 100% do it for me though, it’s not quite as captivating as other songs of theirs to me.
3. Hunger: This is probably my second favorite, after “Crystals”. It starts off a little slow, but it builds up and turns very powerful and the harmonizing is just absolutely gorgeous. There’s also quite a variety of sounds, there’s instruments that you wouldn’t even notice the first time listening to it cause there’s so many little sounds in the background.
4. Wolves Without Teeth: Another song with a slow buildup, but it’s very gorgeous. It also has interesting lyrics that relate to animals/wildlife which I love since I love animals of course. It doesn’t quite stand out to me as much as some of the other songs, but towards the middle of the song it just gets really emotional and complex.
5. Empire: This song has an amazing chorus with both beautiful instrumentals and really pretty vocals. It also sounds a bit different from their usual sound so it’s cool to see them experimenting. However, like some of the other songs, the beginning is just plain old too slow for my taste and it also ends a bit abruptly.
6. Slow Life: I love Of Monsters and Men a ton, but this song just didn’t click with me that much. Well I guess there’s always gonna be that one song on an album that just doesn’t totally do it for you. It’s really pretty but I don’t feel the same passion I do with the other songs, but maybe that’s just my opinion.
7. Organs: This song really stood out to me cause it’s so simple yet so beautiful and it sounds more acoustic than the others and it’s just Nanna (female singer) singing. Plus I’m pretty sure the main instrument is a ukulele sooo that is definitely an added bonus for a ukulele player like myself. I’d describe it as delicate, yet strong.
8. Black Water: This is another more acoustic sounding song and uh sorry it kinda is too slow and mellow for my taste. I still liked it simply because it’s OMAM and the singing and harmonizing is beautiful as usual. But I wish this album had more “Little Talks”/”Mountain Sound” type of songs that just make you wanna dance!
9. Thousand Eyes: Meh same as the above (Black Water) this is another least favorite. Somehow there are simple songs like “Organs” that just hit me and captivate me but then there are other simple songs like this that are just too plain for my taste. I do applaud them for experimenting with their sound though!
10. I of the Storm: Ok in contrast to the past two songs I reviewed, this one is amazing it’s one of my favorites on the album. It’s mostly Nanna’s lovely vocals but it also has some other harmonizing from the male singers. The instrumentals are fairly simple but mesmerizing nonetheless. It has that same mysterious element that other OMAM songs have. It also has some really emotional lyrics (“are you really gonna love me when I’m gone? I fear you won’t. I fear you don’t. And it echoes when I breathe, till all you see is my ghost”) OMAM never fails to impress me with the lyrics.
11. Sink: The first time I heard this I thought it was very pretty but seemed to be lacking somehow. Then I edited the speed a little to make it 1.25x faster and I personally thought that was a lot better. A slightly faster version made it a little more powerful and energetic to me.