TOP x MM: The Mutemath Sessions , by Twenty One Pilots And Mutemath
Alright, so for those who are not aware, I am a fan of quirky indie music and have the chance to review it from time to time . So, when I was made aware of a collaboration between two bands I happen to like, one of them the immensely popular Twenty One Pilots and the less popular MuteMath that I have loved since I noticed their single “Noticed” on Pandora. As a five track EP with video footage of how everything was laid down live after a couple days of rehearsal, this was obviously something that I felt it necessary to review. Here is a track by track review:
Heathens: This track, one of my favorites from last year, is here performed live with a sense of odd and quirky malice. The feeling is one of refined torment, and it makes for a compelling listen, somehow managing to be both dark and ambient as well, with a hint of tranquility being disrupted by the haunting lyrics and driving performance.
Street Poetry: This is an odd performance, but is deeply passionate even if the lyrics are somewhat repetitive. This is a song that would likely grow on someone with repeated lessons as the feeling becomes more and more obvious and the lyrics easier to understand.
Ride: I liked the original, and this one adds depth to the original song by adding quirky instrumentation. Again, we see what Mutemath can add to the proceedings, with their love of ambient and experimental sounds beneath the hip hop inspired lyrics of Twenty One Pilots, working together better than anyone would have any reason to guess.
Tear In My Heart: Again, this is a case where I liked the original, and where this reinterpretation of the song with echoing backing vocals and a sparkling instrumentation can add new layers to a song that was admittedly a bit thin upon continual overplay on the radio. And that is precisely what this collection does best, finding new ways to enjoy overplayed songs that were a bit lacking in nuance due to Twenty One Pilots only being a duo.
Lane Boy: This song is one of my favorite album tracks from the Blurryface album of Twenty One Pilots, and is an honest reflection of the desire of the band to break outside of preconceived limits to their creativity. And what better way to prove it but by turning it into a song that matches fiercely spitted rhymes with ambient electronic music and an outro that features all of the instruments dissolving into a beautiful chaos. This is a great way to close a great EP.
Given that this was a free release and not a cash grab, it is a lot easier to be charitable to it. Nevertheless, both bands show some impressive chops on this EP playing some wonderful songs, one of which was somewhat unfamiliar to me and three of which have been massive radio hits. As I take this project to be a release by two bands seeking to give their fans some awesome material, I think that my own personal response to this material in wanting to hear more from both bands is precisely what was intended and exactly the way one should respond to these live cuts. At about twenty five minutes, this is how a live studio jam with awesome musicians should sound. If you like either or both bands, there will be a lot here to enjoy.
 See, for example:
 See, for example: