MOGWAI return with their fourth album. The follow up to 2001's 'Rock Action', 'Happy Songs For Happy People'. Self produced with TONY DOOGAN (BELLE AND SEBASTIAN, DELGADOS).
Adventurous Scot rockers Mogwai may never shake reputation for creating brutal music, but Happy Songs for Happy People
demonstrates that they can do more than render the aural equivalent of being sucked out a spaceship airlock. Until now, Stuart Braithwaite had taken on the role of Mogwai's bandleader by proxy, his tumultuous guitar playing serving as the outfit's hallmark. Now, however, multi-instrumentalist Barry Burns has stepped to the fore--albeit, with much more restraint--crooning effects-heavy vocals on "Hunted By a Freak" and teasing out a meditative piano line on the ghostly "I Know You Are But What Am I?" Indeed, more than any other Mogwai work, this album aims to create sheer bliss. Even the amp-busting crescendo of "Ratts of the Capital" matches its dark-metal pomp with chiming orchestra bells and starburst lead-guitar lines. No sudden banjo interludes or guest vocals jar with the album's slow passage toward its conclusion. True, it's hard to shake the feeling that they'll never again write something as monumental as Come On Die Young
. But Mogwai still sound lush and powerful. Their time hasn't passed. --Louis Pattison