MUTEMATH has always had a way of bringing in fans from everywhere. Their ways of consistently creating music that is not strictly in the cramped borderlines of specific genres has opened doors not only to a bigger fan base, but also to what they can accomplish as a band. When a band/artist confines themselves to a set genre (for example: Lady Gaga), they can only stretch that sound so far before it has all been done, or they just keep doing what they are doing well (for example: Blink 182). With MUTEMATH, there is always that unspoken signature sound that allows listeners to recognize it as the band they have known and loved, while at the same time having the ability to switch it up and try new things – such is the case with their recent album Odd Soul.
There are those qualities that make the album typical of MUTEMATH, such as Paul Meany’s ever-flawless vocals – hitting outstanding ranges in songs like “All or Nothing,” which is also the song closest in sound to their preceding album Armistice. Another prevalent attribute is the guitar work, showcased in songs such as “Prytania” and “Equals,” but is also a dominant instrument throughout the remainder of the album. Speaking of dominant instruments – it seems the drums encompass different moods in each song; going from a bluesy, foot-stomping good time in “Odd Soul” to a drum beat that sounds similar to a Peter, Bjorn, and John song entitled “Young Folks.” However, there are also differences between past albums and Odd Soul. For instance, while this is definitely an album full of talent and uniqueness, the vocals are not as catchy as they have been in the past. Though this is not necessarily a bad thing.
While catchy is a positive attribute, this album goes beyond the need of the crutch of predictable vocal melodies. With all the extra little things they add amongst the album, they make themselves unforgettable in other ways, and catchy in ways that are hard to achieve as successfully as they do. I found that the guitar leads were the main parts that were looping around in my head – especially those in the title track. Another positive attribute is the overall new soul, vintage sound, a trend that has recently become very popular in the music world. Besides popularity, though, the overall sound of this album can be enjoyed by people of all ages – not just one sect of music lovers.
Odd Soul features a more mature, yet all the same classic MUTEMATH sound for everyone (everyone with a decent taste/knack for talented music, that is). It does not merely redo things they have done in the past; instead, they try different things. Fortunately for them, these things work in their favor to create a wonderful new album with a sound easily identifiable as their own.