Written by James Killen
Carlos and Maddy have been spending a great deal of time in the studios writing and recording a previously unnamed CD for months. Finally, we have the next studio produced disc of “chamber rock” from Mystery Loves Company coming out. “Here We Are” includes some completely new compositions as well as some that MLC has been playing for a few years (“Numbers and Lines”, “Someday” and “The Impossibility of Us”), but as yet had not included on a studio recording.
The band starts the disc off with “Lila”, a statement of personal aspirations and positive philosophy set to a Celtic string rhythm. They follow that up with “The Wall” a political statement about the status of immigrants in the shadow of rejection in the form of the enthusiasm for a border wall.
There is a theme in “Here We Are” that starts with the third track, “I Love You”, that ties the life of a relationship to an ocean voyage of sorts via simile. This song exemplifies the discovery and purity of a new relationship and features some very nice clarinet and cello themes. “Numbers and Lines” is a psychedelic musical contrast of striking out on a journey of feelings in a world of stark logical realities. Hope springs eternal on “Someday” about the saving graces of love and staking everything on the faith therein, again with sprinting cello and clarinet themes.
Reality begins to kick in with “Here We Are”, reevaluating the relationship with images of ocean travel and recognizing the need to fulfill oneself and balancing that within the relationship. “The Impossibility of Us” starts with a disjointed percussion theme that gels with the addition of cello, until the lyrics reveal a feeling of individuality separating the couple from the relationship. The end of the relationship comes to light on “Tonight I Know”, as the couple acknowledges the end of trust.
“Your Makeup” takes us through that period as the relationship ends, and the couple tries to hide the hurt through alcohol, self-doubt and cover ups. “Departures” is an instrumental that brought up images, for me, of a ship leaving a dock into a sunrise with one former lover aboard and the other watching from shore. The disc ends with “The Silence” that depicts the sadness and loneliness that follows the end of a relationship.
What a wide range of influences have amalgamated in this production. There are the elements of classical music, jazz, rock, opera, and folk evident on this disc in addition to a whole lot of thought, originality and talent emerging on this production. I can imagine it would take a record store employee hours to categorize “Here We Are” and file it in the proper section, as I myself am foregoing a single categorization.
I will summarize this production as being one hell of a cool trip through the creative minds of Maddy, Carlos and the band. There will be an opportunity to experience it live in Houston at the CD release show on March 24th at the Mucky Duck. Be there or be square…or at least rectangular.