Martha and the Muffins

This Is the Ice Age

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

It all came together on this album for Martha & the Muffins. Working with a new producer, a young Daniel Lanois, and a new bass player (Daniel's sister, Jocelyne), the band seemed to have the freedom to produce their sound their way. And it worked in a big way. From the first track, the incredible "Swimming," to the fantastic closer "Three Hundred Years/Chemistry," this album is a multi-layered, unforgettable experience. Mark Gane wrote the majority of the album, and he branches out both in his writing and his playing, while Martha Johnson produces one of her finest songs, the exquisite "One Day in Paris." The humor is still there, but now somewhat bittersweet, as evidenced in the wonderful "You Sold the Cottage," a wonderful companion piece to their single "Echo Beach" in that it showed just how much this band had grown in two years, and how much more mature their sound had become. A very strong album, one that would appeal to a great many tastes if given the chance; not instantly accessible, but well worth the effort of several listens. There are no real highlights, as the entire album is a standout, and also groundbreaking, with several production techniques still being used today. [A Canadian version of the CD was released in 2005.]