The band mewithoutYou may have started out playing hard rock, but after their foray into folk music on their fourth album in 2009, they have found a beautiful middle ground on their latest, Ten Stories. The opening song has the tone of an angry teenager, but the album then moves to more melodic and nuanced storytelling. While lead singer and lyricist Aaron Weiss sometimes breaks into shouting/spoken singing, overall his lyrics and vocals fit well with the tone of the instrumentation.
Ten Stories chronicles a circus train’s crash and the circus animals’ responses to this circumstance. It’s an eclectic story to tell through an album, including a chorus about the European name for eggplant in “Aubergine” that makes it all the more mysterious. The more you listen, the more you pick up, and the more enjoyable the album becomes. (Pine Street Records)