Monsters of Folk Self Titled Debut Album Review

MOF_AlbumcoverJust as basketball has its “all-star” team, music has its “supergroups.” Quickly taking reign in the supergroup ranks alongside The Dead Weather and Them Crooked Vultures, Monsters of Folk are quickly becoming of my favorite new bands. With their self-titled debut album featuring acclaimed musicians – Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis, My Morning Jacket’s Jim James and singer/songwriter M.Ward, they should be more suitably labeled “Masters of Folk.”

Besides the fact that Monsters of Folk has sold over 35,000 albums and hit #15 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, the immense talent displayed over and over through out the album speaks for itself. With each member unique in their vocal stylings, the four come together to deliver an illustrious presentation of both vivid harmonies and soothing transitions that will engulf you in a world of placid euphony.

Monsters of Folk can play it up in traditional folk style or add some fancy synths and dynamic sound effects to give it that modern indie aesthetic. A dueling concept that keeps you on your toes and wondering what’s next.

A Few Favs:

“Dear God (sincerely M.O.F.)” Can an introductory track be any more smooth? If men were Sirens this would be their magical song to lureyou into their island. The island here is the Monsters of Folk debut album. With a little soul, rhythm and blues, sexy beats and enchanting sound effects, at times you forget this song is a letter to God. The whole ambiance of the track kinda makes you wanna do those things that “God” wouldn’t approve of – sexy time.

“Man Named Truth” – Full of that down-home country bluegrass, “Man Named Truth” rocks out with that distinct mandolin fingerpickin.’ As Oberst leads the vocals on this song, Mike Mogis skilled hands on the mandolin and baritone guitar steal the show. I found this song to be a bit masculine in its lyrics and sleek guitaring. and for that reason couldn’t help but giggle when Oberst’s whiny Bright Eyes persona interfered with my listening.

“Magic Marker” This song makes me want to indulge in a Tootsie Pop! I’m not quite sure what this song’s all about, but I think it’s totally cute – especially when Jim James sings the line, “How many licks does it take to get to the center where there’s somethin’ sweet?” I’ll admit it’s a bit bland, but the lyrics make me wonder just what exactly is this song all about.

Monsters of Folk was born on the road five years ago when they toured together and regularly sat in on each other’s sets. Now they’re roaming the map for several Fall tour dates. In the spirit of folk-camaraderie, Monsters of Folk is partnering with Air Traffic Control, a resource for musicians’ philanthropic and social change work, to donate monies raised from ticket sales. The band will be donating $1 from every ticket sold on the tour to local non-profits. Word!

Check tour dates here!

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