You’d never picture the guys in MUTEMATH to be dark wizards, but after listening to Odd Soul numerous times, I’m just not so sure anymore. It’s plain as day to see that the band is using horcruxes, as they have divided up their Odd Soul into separate different genres to reach musical immortality.
So while my analogy may have been totally lame, you cannot deny that there has always been some sort of uniqueness about MUTEMATH. From their energetic live show to their fantastic music videos, you rarely hear or see the band to the same thing twice. And that’s what makes Odd Soul one of the best albums of 2011 – it’s MUTEMATH reinventing themselves while remaining true to their roots throughout the thirteen track LP.
Odd Soul grabs your attention immediately with the foot-stomping swagger of the title track. It’s the first instance of bluesy rock (reminiscent of The Black Keys) on the album and it’s not the last. First single “Blood Pressure” will rise exactly that, as the infectious chorus is paced by breezy interludes and fantastic guitar work. Vocalist Paul Meany shines behind the mic, stretching his vocals to new boundaries on Odd Soul. He matches the soaring riffs on “Tell Your Heart Heads Up” while Roy Mitchell-Cárdenas’ bass thumps along. The upbeat “Prytania” is a funky throwback to 70’s rock, while “Allies” is full of soul, thanks to Meany’s voice and fuzzy guitar tones. Meany shows off even more skills, this time behind the keyboard, as it provides the backbone to the urgent “Walking Paranoia.”
The electronic aspect of MUTEMATH’s sound is more effective than previous albums, whether it’s adding subtle tones to the warm-sounding “Equals” or setting the pace to the Radiohead-tinged “All or Nothing.” But the real pièce de résistance is the seven minute “Quarantine.” Balancing spazzy guitar riffs with psychedelic bass lines for the first four or so minutes, it suddenly slows down to showcase Meany’s voice some more before drummer Darren King absolutely kills the outro. Every thing you love about MUTEMATH is present in this track.
A delicious variety of sounds appear on Odd Soul, each one guaranteed to satiate your musical soul. Each track has a fresh, distinct personality to it; I can easily see fans having different favorite tracks. This isn’t your “Typical” MUTEMATH anymore, rather it sounds like the trio is finally unleashing the kind of music they’ve always wanted to. It’ll be difficult to find many albums that can top the type of creativity Odd Soul contains, making it one of the essential must-have albums of 2011. Now this is the type of dark magic one can really get into.