The Do – A Mouthful
I had a feeling I was going to like this album right from the first song. The Do (pronounced dough) debuts with A Mouthful. To label the French/Finnish duo simply as indie rock, is to commit an over-generalization of the worst order. They are rock on some occasions, and folk on others. They are also hiphop, electronic, sprinkled with some afrobeat. All I can say as far as their genre is concerned is that if you like M.I.A., Bjork, Feist, Dido, and even Gwen Stefani, chances are you’ll enjoy this record. Quite appropriately, their name is derived from the first and last notes of the musical scale (as well as a combination of the first letter of each of their first names, Dan and Olivia).
A Mouthful opens up with “Playground Hustle”, a fun track loaded with awesome percussion, brazilian-like whistles, and a children’s choir singing a politically charged message about the sexes. The eleven-minute bonus track “Playground Hustle and Bustle” is another version of the same song, and even better in my opinion. It has the same basic elements but takes on a different melodic structure switching the whole vibe up. They do this on a couple of occasions actually. “On My Shoulders”, for example, has both a regular and a chamber mix. The latter having a much deeper and mystical effect than the regular version.
“Unissasi Laulelet” (Finnish for “Singing in Your Sleep”) is an amazing song with more of that percussion I mentioned along with a riveting bassline. This track also, has a much more subdued chamber version. The English translation of the first few lines are, “The sun rose creepingly, a sparrow was born on a branch, I woke up for a while : you are singing in your sleep”. In English, this is merely poetic; in Finnish, it’s beautiful.
Vocally, “Queen Dot Kong” has a very M.I.A. appeal to it. This with cinematic horn blasts makes for a very lively and fun song. One of my personal favorites on the album. “Coda” is a short and sweet instrumental that’s both jazzy and edgy at the same time, while “Searching Gold” is quiet and almost eerie.
All in all, A Mouthful is a very adventurous album comprised of elements from just about every genre you can think of. The sound on the majority of the album is so fresh that it makes the more organic songs like “At Last” stand out as boring in comparison – though, this may be a bit nitpicky. This is definitely a record worth owning, and makes me look forward to The Do’s future releases.