Album review: Young the Giant’s ‘Mind Over Matter’
The second album by the Orange County indie group does not disappoint.
A sophomore album can either anchor a group in place or propel it forward, and Mind Over Matter has done the latter.
More than anything, this lyrical album illustrates Young the Giant’s versatility. The California quintet’s career was launched into coffee shop soundtracks with its self-titled CD, but early leaks from Mind Over Matter hinted at a definite shift in sound. Sure enough, the new electronic elements embedded throughout show a musical metamorphosis.
The iconic instrumentation from the first album is still present, but it has meshed so well with the new additions that growth is tangible without leaving listeners longing for the traditional unplugged sound that made them fall in love with Young the Giant in the first place. Songs like “Crystallized,” “In My Home” and “Mind Over Matter” really illustrate Young the Giant’s transformation.
Furthermore, resonating lyrics and memorable melodies work perfectly with singer Sameer Gadhia’s deeply emotional, honey-like voice, which thankfully has not changed one bit. Aside from the more aggressive song, “It’s About Time,” and a couple rough transitions in the second half of the album, there is a cohesive flow that makes the CD a wonderful listen.
Above all, Mind Over Matter represents an evolution through which Young the Giant has gone. The changes in the group’s work are subtle enough that old fans shouldn’t feel dissatisfied, and contemporary components attract a new audience of listeners.
MOVE gives Mind Over Matter 4 out of 5 stars.