Album Review :
mewithoutYou - Catch for Us the Foxes

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Artist: mewithoutYou
Album: Catch for Us the Foxes
Label: Tooth & Nail
Release Date: October 5, 2004
Reviewer: Michael Mayer III

Tracklisting:

  1. Torches Together
  2. January 1979
  3. Tie Me Up! Untie Me!
  4. Leaf
  5. Disaster Tourism
  6. Seven Sisters
  7. The Soviet
  8. Paper Hanger
  9. My Exit, Unfair
  10. Four Word Letter (Part Two)
  11. Carousels
  12. Son of a Widow

Flashback to roughly one year ago. I was recommended to check out this beautiful, artistic band called mewithoutYou. Alright, sounds interesting. The reviews I had read from a few trusted sites piqued my interest. I check out a track. Music sounds beautiful, guitars and piano are a nice touch and the atmosphere is phenomenal. I’m anticipating the vocals because that usually makes it or breaks it for me and when they finally come in… I can’t stand it! What is this mess? The guy isn’t screaming but he’s talking out the lyrics, which are so deep I don’t know what they mean! Then the chorus comes in and he switches to yelling… ugh… it must end…

Over the course of the past year I’d wait a few months then give them another try. I’m not sure if it’s because I wanted to like them or the music outside of the vocals sounded so promising. I managed to get through a few tracks but still couldn’t handle it. After a few more months went by they came up in a conversation and I had forgotten about them. So, sure enough, I decided to give them another try. I braced myself for the vocals and… I could tolerate it now? It still wasn’t entirely sticking but hey! I could tolerate it! I found this gem and anxiously awaited it’s arrival. Boy, am I glad I stuck with it because it’s one of the most beautiful and original pieces of music I have ever heard.

What’s it sound like? Uh, well, that’s a bit difficult. Aaron Weiss, the lead vocalist and writer, is the best lyricist and poet of our time. Yeah, there are Christian themes but he oh so cleverly drops the references in amidst real life stories. He’s so deep with his ideas it may very well blow your mind… or at least make you cry. The music frequently has heavy guitar riffs, and addictive ones at that, along with outstanding bass lines (‘Leaf’ and ‘Seven Sisters’ come to mind) to craft each song.

The only downside to those vocals, even if you do grow to like them, is it tends to sound the same across each song even though his pacing is different and the music entirely is. That’s just because that vocal style is near impossible to have variety across 12 tracks. Aaron does have a great singing voice that he uses in the somber album closer, ‘Son of a Widow’. It perfectly fits the mood of the music. And while this isn’t a concept album, it does seem to have a common theme in a few of the songs dealing with the album title and ‘foxes in the vineyard’.

Overall: If you can get past the vocals you have a very rewarding and challenging experience ahead of you. I finally did to the point that they don’t grate on my nerves and I couldn’t be happier. This is probably the best album to start with if you are looking to give them a try as well. Just don’t give up on them. Hopefully it clicks and it’s almost like a whole new world of music is opened to you. A beautiful one too.

Gems of this album are: ‘Carousels’, ‘Leaf’, ‘Torches Together’, ‘January 1979’

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