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Strictly Albums Of The Year: We Are The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves

Released 4th July 2011 on Upset The Rhythm

Chart Performance: John Mause failed to chart in the UK, not that he was expected to in the first place.

What The Critics Said: The way Maus sings to the heavens makes it sound as though he’s no longer alone with his thoughts. Spend a lot of time with this record, and it’s hard not to feel like you’re right there with him.” Pitchfork

Few artists encapsulate a sense of amusement and adventure better than the brilliant John Maus. His previous release, 2007’s Real Love, was a gloriously inconsistent mish mash of exuberant themes and understated haunting atmospherics; that album’s undisputed highlight, the knowingly ludicrously “Rights For Gays”, laid down the clearest marker for his 2011 breakthrough.

We Are The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves pulled of a remarkable and seemingly implausible ploy: it sounded grander in scope than Real Love without losing that record’s willfully understated “don’t take me seriously” edge, toning down Maus’ trademark humour without being any less funny. The resulting record is an entirely loveable synth-pop curiosity that is built upon a series of majestically murmured soundscapes. The album begs you to drift away, melt into its shimmering chimes and hover alongside its twilight skyline. “Hey Moon” and “…And The Rain” are simply dreamy, possessing a level tenderness that Maus’ theatrically comic delivery should deny, but somehow only enhances, while “Quatam Leap” is a bass driven bombshell and “Believer” is quite simply one of the finest pop songs released this year.

What makes We Are The Pitless Censors Of Ourselves all the more remarkable is that live, Maus turns these dreamy ditties into a head banging onslaught of feral rage and awkward herky jerky sexuality (more on that in our gigs of the year list). His music hardly needed another layer of juxtaposition and implausible contradiction, but at this point Maus is a puzzle too tricky to solve, just hit play, and drift away instead: you won’t regret it. David Hayter

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Author: david

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