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Of Monsters And Men - Beneath The Skin 2LP
Specializing in a cinematic spectacle that evokes wide-open vistas as much as the fathomless depths of an arena, Of Monsters and Men sometimes do sound as majestic as their dreams on Beneath the Skin, pulsating on the waves of insistent rhythms and armies of acoustics. Such a description suggests they hew closely to the Mumford & Sons stomp -- and that does surface occasionally, usually as a forgotten memory, not a rhythm; it's a counterpoint, not a focus -- but the sextet prefers the operatic bombast of Arcade Fire. Where Win Butler and comrades prefer to address big issues with their big music, Of Monsters and Men turn inward, marrying their soundscapes to tales of introspection and romance. The thing is, it doesn't quite matter precisely what Of Monsters and Men sing about on Beneath the Skin. Many of the songs are sturdy, constructed to support these grand ambitions, but these individual pieces are not as consequential as the big, big picture. No, what matters is that gigantic, sparkling rush, a sound that seems destined to fill a vast, empty sky. That they never succeed at their goal is secondary: what lasts is the vision and vibe, an atmosphere that resonates long after the album concludes.