The new Mesh album ‘A Perfect Solution’ came out yesterday and of course I hastened straight to iTunes to buy myself a copy! I have only managed to listen to it a couple of times since then and so it hasn’t had a chance to grown on me properly yet. I do really, really like it though, even if it is much darker than their last few albums. This isn’t a BAD thing, I hasten to say, just different.
Anyway, let’s have a quick listen.
‘If We Stay Here’ is again what I would consider to be classic Mesh with a really meaty beat and lovely waves of melodic synth. Again, it is dark but there is a haunting sadness here that keeps it uplifting. The lyrics: ‘If we stay here, we die here, with nothing left to say‘ have been on my mind ever since I first heard it and really resonated with me for some reason.
‘Only Better’ is the single from the album and is just as great after repeated listenings as the first time I heard it. It is heartfelt and beautiful and a worthy first single from an outstanding album.
Moving on to ‘Everything We Made’ which starts at full throttle so you know that you are going to be launched into a proper bounce on the spot Mesh anthem. Ah, it is fabulous. The lyrics seem to be along the same lines as that NIN song ‘Hurt’ i.e ‘I am a BAD PERSON and I am sorry’ but only in the hands of Mesh could a song about a promise breaking, committment phobic wanker turn into a euphoric anthem.
‘I never meant to hurt you so much, I’ve broken everything that I’ve touched.’
‘Is It So Hard’ sounds very sinister when it first starts and is one of the darkest sounding songs on here. Again, it seems to be a song about breaking up with someone but as with most Mesh songs, it is saved from awful maudlin misery guts self pity by the amazing vocals and uplifting, hopeful chorus. Or maybe it is about people who treat people badly without meaning to and kind of feel bad about it? I can’t tell.
‘Hold It Together’ follows hot on the heels and keeps up the good work with a really sinuous beat and a classic sinister Mesh sound. It reminds me of the ‘People Like Me’ era actually, which is no bad thing. Only, just when you think you have got a handle on it, the piano starts and wow, it becomes something else.
‘It’s Gone’ is really different. Wow. It starts off sounding a bit eighties and suddenly all those tedious comparisons with Depeche Mode start to make sense but then there is a little bit of Mesh magic and ah, we are safe with them. It’s a sparse tune and very lyric led with just, comparatively, the barest bones of a synth tune there. It’s quite refreshing actually in the midst of the rest of the album’s bombast and anthemic choruses. This one has a real wistful, sad feel. Are all of Mesh’s songs about break ups? Anyway, this is the one to listen to on repeat in your lonely bedsit while dining on Pot Noodle and Ben & Jerrys and photoshopping your ex out of your Facebook photographs.
‘How Long’ is a return to the usual Mesh sound and is bouncy and ebullient while at the same time faintly melancholy.
‘Who Says’ starts off slow but then kicks into a really pounding, stomping riff. It feels like quite a new direction and the inclusion of a female vocal works brilliantly here. ‘It only feels good when I’m treating you bad.’ This is a fabulous song. If I still went to goth clubs then I suspect that I would be hearing this played on a regular basis as it is very dancefloor friendly. Well, GOTH dancefloor friendly. You wouldn’t expect to hear this at Fabric.
No, there are still no bad songs on this album but let’s keep going.
‘Hope Dreams’ is more synth driven than the first few songs (I have NO idea what I am talking about! I’m an art history graduate not a muso, but you knew that didn’t you?) and seems like the most ‘bleepy’ song so far until the chorus kicks in and, yes, it’s proper arm waving stuff. God, I really want to go and see Mesh play right now. Shame I can’t get to either of their UK gigs really! I will just have to play this loudly, buy a T shirt (which will take a billion years to get to me thanks to the current vagaries of the UK postal service) and wave my phone around with the flashlight app switched on. :D
‘Every hope, every dream, just comes crashing down on me.’ Yes, this is another great song. Seriously, when was the last time they wrote something bad?
‘Want You’ is a bit of a breather in the midst of all the big tunes and is slow and reflective and a little boring until it suddenly breaks into a great guitar riff. It’s quite a sombre track, which some may find off putting and is probably my least favourite on the album but it is still good.
It’s followed by ‘The Bitter End’ which has a great intro and is real classic Mesh with a chunky beat, bittersweet lyrics and an anthemic chorus. I love its synthy slinkiness and suspect that this will be the one to get people dancing at the upcoming shows. I think that this might be my favourite track on the album actually as it is the one that I have been playing on repeat all day.
Right, you will no doubt be thrilled to learn that we have made it to the last track of the album and not only that but my husband and Hester have just come back and are on hand to supply me with words that mean the same as ‘anthemic’ and ‘euphoric’ but are different. Shame they weren’t here earlier really!
This is the worst review that anyone has ever written ever, which is ironic as it is one of the best albums I have ever heard but in summary, this is another brilliant album from an excellent band. I possibly don’t currently like it as much as I liked ‘We Collide’ but have a feeling that this will change once I have listened to it a few more times. If you already know and like Mesh then you will want to get this anyway and if you are entirely new to them and their music then this is as good a starting point as any.
Edited to add that ‘The Bitter End’ is one of my favourite songs now. I am still playing it on repeat and, hm, I’m considering running away to Barcelona for the gig next February.