Mew's fifth full-length offering presents audiences with another meticulously crafted, highly melodic, and maddeningly esoteric collection of volatile Danish indie rock that replaces the dusky uncertainty of 2005's And the Glass Handed Kites with a sunnier disposition that owes more to Soft Bulletin-era Flaming Lips than it does the icy, audio cave paintings of Sigur Rós. From the opening notes of "New Terrain" (which if played backwards reveals an entirely new song called "Nervous") through the Yes-inspired closer, "Reprise," Mew have crafted their most alluring collection of songs to date. While a handful of tracks ("Beach," "Tricks of the Trade") do veer into more commercial territory, it's the epic scope of cuts like "Cartoons and Macramé Wounds," "Hawaii," "Silas the Magic Car," and "Sometimes Life Isn't Easy" -- the latter two complete with a children's choir -- that provides listeners with enough sustenance to survive through to the next album. Despite its ominous (and lofty) title, No More Stories/Are Told Today/I'm Sorry/They Washed Away/No More Stories/The World Is Grey/I'm Tired/Let's Wash Away is a dreamy blend of circular melodies and odd time signatures that requires multiple listens (this is par for the course with any Mew album) and a significant amount of cinematic stamina from the listener, and though it may not appeal to the masses, its mass is definitely appealing.
AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger