Sunday, August 21, 2011

Mansions Come Of Age

What if, you know, there were good emo songs? A difficult concept to get your head around, I'll admit, but it's a concept that Mansions grasp and have created a record with that very idea in mind. Their album, New Best Friends, is filled with over emotional songs that are actually worth listening to.

Led by, Christopher Browder, Mansions create swirling walls of noise that are warped into melodic chaos that sounds as if someone threw a bunch of shoegazing records in with Mineral's greatest hits. New Best Friends is an album that has a sense of epicness about it while still having a strong sense of what a good short pop song is all about. Browder has clearly made a record that wants to be more than just a stereotype and despite having the occasional pitfall, he succeeds.

While there are moments on New Best Friends that sound as if they've been pulled from the emo handbook to writing songs for girls, there are also songs that are hilarious, and hit home in all the best ways; check out, "Talk, Talk, Talk," and "Gotta Be Alone," for some shining examples of this. In listening to New Best Friends, one can't help but wonder if Browder has ever had a really cool girlfriend. He seems so depressed throughout this record and so many of the songs on New Best Friends just make you want to take him aside like a brother and go, "Dude, it'll all work me."

Despite an overwhelming desire to help Christopher, his misery and suffering over relationships makes for good listening as New Best Friends is really a good record that grows on you over time. In the end, Mansions avoids the many pitfalls of so many other emo bands by keeping a smile on their face and writing music that yearns to be so much more than just emo. Mansions ethereal sound mixed with a touching record will either strike a nerve or remind you of what it was like growing up and that's a good thing.  New Best Friends is a coming of age record for Christopher Browder and if he's come this far at such a young age, his adulthood should be amazing, musically speaking.

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