Moneen | The World I Want to Leave Behind (Dine Alone)

cd_moneen.gifDon’t feel ashamed if you’re inclined to hit the "repeat" button and listen to the whole disc all over again; this is one that stands up to repeated (and repeated) listens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re all friends here, right? So I can freely admit that this, Moneen’s fourth full-length CD (the band has released four EPs, as well), is my introduction to the band, which just celebrated its ten-year anniversary this year. And after immersion in this single platter, I’m hooked.

There’s nary a misstep on The World I Want to Leave Behind. The band comes out of the gate with the soul-searching title track, understated, reverbed, wholly in check. When the music swells, put on your seat belt, because here comes the ride. Here, Kenny Bridges’ vocals are rich and smooth, giving way to a more forceful tone on "Hold That Sound." If this song isn’t a single, it should be. Wait, scratch that…if this album doesn’t make it on a lot of year’s best lists, it will be criminal.

The guitar line that introduces and sustains "Great Escape" is wickedly catchy; comparisons to Eddie Van Halen wouldn’t be far off. The song’s anthemic, reaching and wholly addictive. Another ready-made single, "Believe" is uplifting, ready-made for singalong: "You’ve gotta believe/ you’ve gotta believe/ and you’ll find/ your own way." When the soaring vocals kick in, you realize that, truly, there’s hope for us all.

The band keeps it low-key with the next two tracks, as well: "Redefine" and "The Way." These are stripped-down numbers, with achingly honest vocals and harmonious instrumentation. Never fear, though; these boys are ready to bring the rock, and bring it in a big way. "The Long Count" is a cacophonous wall of sound, guitars against drums against feedback, all tamed quite nicely by those vocals, largely smooth until they’re desperately screamed. "The Monument" keeps the pace high, and pointed guitars keep the rock steady.

There’s no other way to say it: "Waterfalls" is a beautiful song; there are even hints of strings swelling behind the elevating vocals. "Red Eyes" simply races, but toward an apt finish line: "One day you’ll turn around/ one day you’ll stop and settle down," sings Bridges. "Lighters" recalls said instruments held aloft, while disc closer "The Glasshouse" sends the boys off with a bang. Don’t feel ashamed if you’re inclined to hit the "repeat" button and listen to the whole disc all over again; this is one that stands up to repeated (and repeated) listens.

The whole album’s an exercise in melodic restraint…until it isn’t, until Moneen let loose with a wall of sound and voice. They play both hands equally well, the disparity lending itself to a richer, fuller listening experience. Not only did I find a new favorite in The World I Want to Leave Behind, but I found a new love in Moneen. And though I’m late to the game, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got plenty of happy discovering to do. A | Laura Hamlett

About Laura Hamlett 467 Articles
Laura Hamlett is the Managing Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. In a past life, she was also a music publicist and band manager. Besides music, books, and other forms of popular culture, she's a fan of the psychology behind true crime and violent criminals. Ask her about mass murder...if you dare.

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