Young the Giant Tackles a New Sound on ‘Mirror Master’

Mia Roetgger, Editor

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Alternative/indie rock band Young the Giant recently released their fourth studio album, Mirror Master, in October of 2018. Formerly known as The Jakes, Young the Giant originally consisted of five members: Jacob Tilley, Addam Farmer, Kevin Massoudi, Ehson Hashemian, and Sameer Gadhia, with “The Jakes” acting as an acronym for the members’ first names. The Jakes, initially formed in 2004, struggled with many differences between members due to difficulties with school and other creative disputes. Finally in January of 2010, The Jakes became Young the Giant and officially began their career in music with new members Eric Cannata, Payam Doostzadeh, and Francois Comtois along with original members Sameer and Jacob.

Young the Giant’s two most recent albums, Mirror Master and Home of the Strange, share similar electric sounds; however, Home of the Strange seems to have influences from ‘70s musicians like Michael Jackson and Led Zeppelin, while Mirror Master seems much more current and cerebral. In contrast to these albums, the band’s first two albums, one self titled and Mind Over Matter, share little to no aspects of the electric sound the band has recently been leaning towards. With the contradiction of sounds, fans may question the band’s next move and wonder if a new element will be added to their sound.

Initially upon listening to the album, I was hoping for a return to the original sound expressed in the first album, but I received the opposite. Mirror Master is a wave of emotions. The album begins with very high excitement with “Superposition” and slowly falls into a calmer mood with “You + I.” Ending back on the high energy vibe of the beginning, the album closes with the song that titled the album, “Mirror Master.”

The song “Glory” exhibits the cerebral approach mentioned above with a mellow introspection on the questions of spirituality. Beginning with lyrics, “I am a sinner of a broken church/ I am a saint drunk on the prophet,” the opening lines almost contradict the praise of religion expressed in the rest of the song such as, “ When I close my eyes I see, I see the light.” The band almost alludes to the idea that the world is damaged, and the only way to escape is through dreams of a higher place.

Slowing it down even more, the band almost transports listeners into slow motion with “Darkest Shade of Blue.” Being only a 10-line song, it still lasts a little over two minutes, highlighting how slow the song really is. This song is the closest to past albums with “Island” from Young the Giant sharing the “slow motion” aspect of this song. “Darkest Shade of Blue” acts as a song of reassurance and comfort to someone in panic, with lyrics like: “I’m here with you when your hands are shaking.”

Probably the most popular song on the album, but my least favorite, “Superposition,” changes gears into a more upbeat love song. The singer strives for requited love as he sings, “I want you/ to want me,” and almost praises the person he loves. This love song aspect carries into many of the other songs on the album, such as “Call Me Back,” “You + I,” and “Simplify.”

All in all this album brings about a new aspect that is not very popular in the alternative music scene. Due to the fact that I have followed Young the Giant from the start, I still favor their original sound, leading me to say that the first self titled album remains the best. At the same time though, I give Mirror Master a 3.5/5 due to the unheard approach of a cerebral sound.

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