Boomkat Product Review:
With their previous long-player Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy, Múm were already starting to sound like a band unrecognisable from the one that shot to international acclaim with albums like Finally We Are No One and Summer Make Good. Gone were the downbeat, gloomy dynamics, and instead, in the absence of vocalist Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir upbeat, almost twee-pop stylings were instated, and these sorts of themes are carried over to the more buoyant sequences of Sing Along To Songs You Don't Know, their fifth album. Throughout, the band assert their particular brand of musical alchemy with a combination of classical instrumentation, electronic programming and general household bric-a-brac - even the occasional parakeet. The earliest pieces reassert the band's pop-friendly inclinations, with 'Prophecies & Reversed Memories' standing out as an especially bewitching (if typically bizarre) concoction, like a cheerier version of Efterklang. Meanwhile 'A River Don't Stop To Breathe' draws together an almost bluesy string section and clattering lo-fi drums. As with most of the tracks here, vocal duties are undertaken by multiple members of the band, which far from presenting a too-many-cooks scenario actually serves the communal, high spirited feel to the record very well. As the album moves onwards, highlights pour in like the epic, Icelandic disco of 'The Smell Of Today Is Sweet Like Breastmilk In The Wind' and the rather wonderful 'Hullaballabalú', which represents one of the album's most earnest sounding pop ventures. After all this, as Sing Along... winds down to a finish 'Ladies Of The New Century' parts on a more sensitive note, once again invoking some of Múm's arctic melancholy and closing the record with a piano piece that isn't so much sung as it is sighed. Lovely stuff as ever from the enduring Icelandic group.