Review: Young the Giant — Mirror Master

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, October 17th, 2018 at 6:39 PM
Review: Young the Giant — Mirror Master by Nathan Brennan

★★★★★

I’ll admit it, I’m still a newcomer to Young the Giant’s music. I had only heard a few tracks of theirs previously; of course, I liked what I heard, but they just weren’t at the forefront of my mind music-wise.

The only reason they popped up again in my life was because I was listening to Sirius XM radio one day (GO ALT NATION!), and I heard their newest single entitled “Superposition,” and I was instantly hooked. Not only did the song bop really hard (perhaps a little too hard), but it had catchy lyrics, so I loved it.

But then I looked up the lyrics to “Superposition,” and I was even more intrigued. Among other scientific concepts brought up in the song, the foremost is the song’s namesake, the law of superposition, which is a complex law of physics best described by the situation known as Schrödinger's cat (I’m not going to go in depth, but if you want to know more about it, Google is a safe bet), in which the cat is put into a box which may or may not kill it, so it is known as both dead and alive simultaneously until the moment the box is opened.

I haven’t done the best job at explaining it, but lead singer of Young the Giant, Sameer Gadhia does so eloquently: “Each decision splits into a myriad of mirrors; a system of lines that enlace, tangle, and intersect. But in every one… we would have found each other, and like light yawns across eons to spill on the floor beneath your window, we would fall in love, because we are all and we are nothing and everything in between. We are in superposition.”

Needless to say, I was anxiously looking forward to the release of the complete album.

Then the album came out on Oct. 12, and the album’s name made complete sense to me upon listening to all the songs in context. As aforementioned by Gadhia, this album looks inward toward how we see ourselves (hence, Mirror Master), and ponders why we exist in the first place, how we interact with others and ultimately find the love that completes us.

“Simplify,” to put it simply, is a love story. With a soaring track, it considers all the problems associated with a relationship, such as fights, needless worry and stress, but leaves it all behind, because, “Staring in your eyes, Everything simplifies.” Overall, it was a heartfelt song that felt refreshingly upbeat.

“Call Me Back” is fairly straight-forward: the lead singer wants a lover to call him back. A nice beat and beautiful vocals are the main highlights. Not my favorite of the album, but it’s a major mood sometimes, so I still like it.

“Darkest Shade of Blue” is the shortest track on the album, but it comes with a much-needed message for anyone who needs to hear it: even through thick and thin situations, “You're not alone anymore.”

“Glory” is easily one of the most unique-sounding songs on an already inventive album. Drawing more contradictions in life, the lead singers finds, “Maybe I will graduate/ Grandma I'm going back to college/ A piece of paper don't fill dinner plates/ All the things that make me hostage.” Societal norms often push people to do things they don’t want to do; advising against that, the lead singer once more echoes the title of the album, finding, “I am the master of my universe.”

“Panoramic Girl” is a thought-provoking song that quite literally sounds like a dream. Describing a girl that seems transcendent of real life, the lead singer is fixated on just the idea of her: “You are just a memory that lives inside my dreams.” With gorgeous vocals and ethereal vibes, this song was a treat to hear.

Lastly, I just had to end with “You + I.” You know those songs that you absolutely know you’ll love it just based on the first couple notes? This was one of them. It made me audibly gasp upon first hearing it, and made me instantly replay it to hear it again. With a haunting melody that makes my heart sink, this song talks about growing old with the one you love. From the moment they meet, to building a family together, and to becoming older “with gray in our hair,” this song is simply stunning.

The album concluded with the song the album was named after: “Mirror Master.” With a spirited dance-type beat, this song is the kind of song to get you motivated and ready to take on the world. Going off the name and themes of the album, this song is all about becoming the master of who you see in the mirror: you. Reading in part, “You will be the leading actor/ Movie of your own design.” As the optimistic end to the album, this song sends an important message: when you take charge of yourself by choosing your own destiny with confidence and poise, no longer will anything hold you back from who you want to be.

Upon reflection, I don’t have a clue how I didn’t fall in love with this band before this point; however, I am thankful for Mirror Master bringing me to this gem of a band.

When you can’t skip a single track on the album, you know its good. With a beautifully unique sound and incredible lyricism, Mirror Master is a must-listen.

While it was difficult for me to pick out favorites, the standout tracks for me were “Superposition,” “Panoramic Girl” & “You + I.”

Nathan Brennan can be reached at ae.spectator@gmail.com.

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