Very rarely do we write negative album reviews on this blog and when we do it’s a sad affair.
Why Modest Mouse, why are you making me do this? I really wanted to love your new album. I wanted to appreciate the fact that bands change their sound. It would be selfish of me to want another Moon and Antarctica (Hell, I’d even take another Good News for People Who Like Bad News at this point). But Strangers to Ourselves isn’t what I expected in Modest Mouse’s progression.
I’m just going to come out and say it. I hate this album. I don’t want to say that it lacks emotion or feels uninspired because I hate it when I read that in reviews. I doubt any band sits back before they write a new album and says, “This is going to be the one that lacks emotion and inspiration”. I’m not going to say that, even though I want to. I feel like they’re a band lost in between mainstream alternative and their indie roots. They’re trying to sound cutting edge, but just end up sounding like every other terrible band on alternative radio.
There are moments on Strangers To Ourselves that are promising. But those moments are fleeting. There are three songs on this album that I like(“Lamp Shades on Fire”, “The Ground Walks, with Time In a Box,” and “The Best Room”). Three! I never thought I would say that about a Modest Mouse album. I wish I could say that I liked the lyrics and that it’s the music that ruins the songs, but I can’t. “Ansel” & “Pistol” might be the worst songs in their catalog.
Another thing that is very un-Modest Mouse like is their terrible opener. This is a band that’s known for amazing first songs, but once again this album ruined a part of Modest Mouse that I love.
If I were to give this album a rating it would be a strong 3/10–three for the number of good songs on the album.