Mint

Magnetism

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Falling under the same area as perhaps Bright Eyes, lead singer and songwriter Erwin Marcisz wears his heart on his sleeve and also at times in his thoughtful, whispered lyrics. This is evident on Magnetism's opening track "The Lake," and also during the fully developed "I'm a Traffic Light," that resembles an Oasis B-side. The songs are often pop-oriented in nature, with a seasoned supporting cast making tracks like "Ah, You Left Me" shine and soar instantly. Fans of Belle & Sebastian and especially the Delgados would lap up this at-times lush orchestral track immediately. Mint create rich, emotional pieces of work that would hold their own against bands like Rialto or a mainstream Pulp, especially with the tight and bubbly "Your Shopping Lists Are Poetry" that has some large, bombastic moments within. The keyboards also play an important part, with keyboardist Kim Windmolders adding some great touches on "Everything Is Wrong" that sounds like a midtempo mash-up of the Killers and Metric. Perhaps the first ├╝ber-highlight of this consistently strong record is the confidence and polish oozing from "The Magnetism of Pure Gold," which on many levels is, well, pure gold. It simply hits the ground running and never falters once. Mint manage to shift gears and moods with the melancholic folk-pop of "Dead Weight," which recalls Neil Finn or the late Elliott Smith. But for the most part, it's the uptempo to midtempo nuggets that make the album work, especially "Shoot the Darkness," which resembles the Doves. And rather than letting up a bit with the final one-two punch, Mint create two more memorable tracks, beginning with the foot-stomping pizzazz of "The Winter of 1985," which is easily on par with the pomp and pageantry of Arcade Fire. An alt-country or Americana lullaby entitled "I'm in Love Etc." wraps it all up just as elegantly as it started. Magnetism's quality and the band's name are one and the same, without question.

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