Release Date: 26th July 2019
Our Verdict: EXCELLENT
‘Fever Dream’, the third album from Of Monsters and Men, is different! … not ‘bad different’ … good different … but allow yourself some time to adjust and recalibrate.
Imagine you’ve regularly visited a cafe since 2011 because their food is simply amazing. You’ve never been able to fault them. The lasagne, the burgers, the fries, the pizza, the desserts, the coffee, everything is exactly to your taste. One day however you arrive and the menu has changed. The staff are identical but you don’t recognise any of the dishes. They have some samples of each new dish but as you try them in turn your face just can’t hide your disappointment.
You: “These are not your usual dishes. I hardly recognise these tastes, flavours or aromas. What have you done?! Why have you changed everything?! My life is ruined!”
As you turn to leave, the cafe owner grabs you by the arm. “Wait!” he says “Give me 30 minutes and I will change your mind“. Reluctantly you agree and sit down at the nearest table. “Trust me” he says “have we ever let you down before?”
The owner proceeds to bring you 11 plates of food and – one by one – he asks you to sample them.
“You must start with the Alligator” he says “You’ll find it quite familiar”. “Ah … yes … that is quite amazing … definitely familiar” you say feeling a little more positive.
“Next we recommend wild roses on a bed of leaves” and then adds “it follows alligator perfectly“. You try the wild roses and your eyes light up; you’re beginning to understand the concept of this menu. “We like to think of this as our summer menu” he says “something for lighter warmer days when all is good with the world and you just want to chill out in a cool breeze of audible pleasure“.
The next plate is revealed and this one is dripping with honey. “Stuck in Gravity” he says and offers you a spoon. After a few mouthfuls you’re still uncertain, this is a lot sweeter than anything they’ve ever prepared. “This might be a bit too sweet for me” you say and offer the spoon back. “OK but just wait until you are 3 minutes 10 seconds in to the dish“. So you do and your foot is suddenly tapping with delight. “Nice” you say.
“Do you like Mexican?” he asks, putting a bowl of Sleepwalker in front of you. “Hmmm not really” you reply “it’s usually a bit too spicy for my liking“. He gestures eagerly at the bowl and you hesitantly try a spoonful. “Wow, I love that” you immediately reply “and what’s the unusual spice?“. “Indigo” he replies “
And so the session continues. Wars, ahay, a large slice of vulture; they just keep coming. The penultimate dish arrives under a dome but by now you’re no longer worried. You understand. You have connected with their vision. It is different but it is ‘good different’. It required you to leave your expectations and habits behind so that you could enjoy something new and inspiring. Why did you ever doubt them?
We love ‘Fever Dream’ by Of Monsters and Men. Initially it was a shock; we just weren’t prepared for something “more poppy and brighter” (Nanna’s own description) than most previous releases by OMAM. It took a few plays but then all of a sudden – like the sun magically appearing on a cold grey day – you have a ‘WOW’ moment … and you’re turning up the volume … and soaking up the rays.
Open for Debate:
Does “Stuck in Gravity” have a hint of “Steppin’ Out” by the Electric Light Orchestra? (from around 0:22 of “Steppin’ Out”).
Anybody else get a vibe of REM’s “Blue” (Collapse into Now) from “Under the Dome”?
We’ll be watching Of Monsters and Men in concert at the O2 Academy in Birmingham on 28th October 2019 as part of their ‘Fever Dream’ tour. Just can’t wait! … and we’ll post a review too.