Album Review: Rearrange Us by Mt. Joy

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Mt. Joy is an indie rock and folk band from California. While only starting in 2016, they have garnered a lot of attention and have opened up for several bands, such as The Head and the Heart and Rainbow Kitten Surprise. Now, two years after their debut record, Mt. Joy release their second studio album, Rearrange Us.

The first track and longest track from the album is Bug Eyes. The track starts out slow with a quiet guitar in the background, as well as some other small instrumentals. After the first verse, the track gets livelier with the rest of the band joining in. The first verse seems to be talking about a girlfriend or lover that is falling out of love or isn’t sure what direction the relationship is heading. Towards the end, they talk about seeing the world through someone else’s view.

After that, we have the title track, Rearrange Us. This track is a little more pop in taste. You have a catchy guitar lick that is repeated throughout the track. I really enjoy the chorus with the descending bass line and the background vocals on the last chorus. The artist talks about how life seems short when he’s spending it with this person.

Have Faith is a quick interlude track, just under a minute in length. It’s a simple duet with minimal instrumentation. With everything going on in the world, I could see this being added to the album recently since it talks about having faith in the good and never giving up.

My Vibe is definitely one of my favorites off the album. This is another pop-like track with a punchy chorus. It’s definitely a feel-good track and just moving/dancing until you feel better. I definitely love the small jam session towards the end of the track.

Let Loose slips back in intensity in the beginning. The vibe I’m getting is somewhat reminiscent of the laid back classic rock tracks from the 80s. On this track, the singer is letting this person know that he wants to be close with this person and doesn’t want her to drift away from him. Towards the end of the track, it finally grows in intensity and adds more instrumentation.

Every Holiday is a slow and thoughtful track. The artist talks about how he feels depressed every time the holidays come around. He said that there’s so much division, which could come from differing viewpoints with families. He talks about issues of global warming, mostly men being in the government, as well as the wage gap. He also talks to his girlfriend or wife and hopes that they can make it through. The track ends with a brass outro.

Come With Me opens up with a chorus of people. After the chorus cuts out, you get more of the pop sound from this track. He’s talking to this girl and saying that she’ll have a great time if she comes with this guy. There’s also a small moment in the track where he talks about empowering women and the protests/marches for them.

Death starts off with a twangy, in the distance guitar. Finally, during the first chorus, the track opens up with the drums and other string instruments. This track obviously talks about the topic of death. According to the lead singer, he was talking about the peace that comes with death. However, he wants to help people find peace on Earth and the beauty around us.

Acrobats is somewhat reminiscent of what you would hear in the 90s rock days. You got your usual chord progression in this track, and your usual, ‘AABBCC’ progression going on for the first half of the track. For the last half, it goes off on a tangent and has an instrumental outro. They also somehow manage to tie a piano part in there. They also end the piece with the same part that introduced us to the track.

Next, we have Witness which was one of their latest singles they shared with us. It was also shared with us as an EP on Spotify a few weeks back. The light percussion in the back really adds to the softness and seriousness of the track. According to the band, this is one of their favorite recordings, but it’s definitely a heavy song. He walked in on his wife/girlfriend with someone else and that’s where the track starts to grow in intensity. He still manages to stay with this person since he still loves her.

Us is a quick track, just a little over two minutes in length. It’s mostly just vocals from the lead singer, with a quick few bits of guitar every now and then. On this track, he seems to be reminiscing about all the memories he had with this person. Even though things were perfect, he was worried that she’d start to find some issues with the relationship.

Become is another quick track in the album, just a little over a minute and a half in length. This is another light, but serious track. When the guitar cuts out and it’s just the piano, you can really hear the emotion in his voice.

The end of the last track smoothly runs into Strangers. Just like the last track, you can definitely hear the emotion in his voice towards the beginning. Through the entire journey of the album, he was with this person and trying to continue to love her, even with the faults. Finally, in the end, he had the courage to end it and he is over this person. The title of the track, Strangers, is implying that he will have to fall in love with a stranger and move on with someone new.

Despite having a slow and rocky start to the album, the last half definitely redeemed itself. The last half of the album has several memorable and meaningful tracks that add to the message of the album. I will definitely come back and revisit this album in these upcoming weeks.
Overall Rating: 8/10
Favorite Tracks: Rearrange Us, My Vibe, Death, Acrobats, Witness, Strangers

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