MisterWives Debut Album Review

I saw MisterWives in concert the second time this past Sunday and a friend of mine brought up this review I wrote a few years ago…Let me know what you think!

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Our Own House Invites You in For a Dance Party & Heavy Dinner Conversation

Often in pop music, horns are sorry attempts at adding “culture” or making an intentional effort at being different than other songs on the radio. But indie-pop band, MisterWives, (a play on words attributing to the band’s members of four men and one female, lead singer Mandy Lee) feature a saxophone and trumpet, accompanied by Mandy Lee roaring vocals, to create multi-layered, infectious, effervescent, polychromatic anthems. Our Own House is not a “love” or a “break up” album.  “Our Own House” uses the metaphor of a house to illustrate two people who have promised to build a sturdy relationship together (We built our own house, own house/With our hands over our hearts/And we swore on that day/That it will never fall apart). Succeeding track “Not Your Way” is a feminist anthem whose lyrics juxtapose how far women have come (cast a vote, wear pants and prop up a gun) with the misogynist expectations still being combated (fill us up with plastic and cut us up and tie a bow). The second to last track “Vagabond” rings as an ode to loneliness with the lyric “pretending to not feel alone” ringing like a subconscious thought demanding attention. “Queens,” the last song on the LP and Mandy Lee’s hometown, paints a picture of a childhood lacking the best material possessions but one that provided a foundation and support system (but we always made it work/building castles out of dirt) is a somber but optimistic conclusion to the album. The chorus and bridge nostalgically layers vocals reminiscent of uplifting elders of a church service.

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