11 Songs, 31 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Some might say John Maus needs to censor himself, perhaps ease up on the reverb saturation and resist the thieving of Joy Division bass lines and ‘80s analog synth texture. But a growing number of fans praise Maus and his unrepetent moods of doom, his exaggerated baritone that borders on satire (Bela Lugosi’s dead!), his fondness for ridiculously churchy organs. What is his story, you might ask? He’s a sturdy Midwestern son, PhD student, and pals (and collaborator) with musical cousins Ariel Pink and Panda Bear. We Must Become … is Maus’s third and most cohesive album, though hooks still evade and compelling atmospherics are the order of the day. The wow factor on a few tunes might help reticent listeners come around to falling under Maus’ spell: the chilling waltz that is “Cop Killer,” the gothy “Quantum Leap,” and “Hey Moon,” a gorgeous, dreamy duet with the notable Molly Nilsson (the song’s author), all might catch skeptics by surprise. Actually, if the Gregorian chant-haunted “Keep Pushing On” and the synth pop euphoria of “Believer” don’t convince you, you may as well move along.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Some might say John Maus needs to censor himself, perhaps ease up on the reverb saturation and resist the thieving of Joy Division bass lines and ‘80s analog synth texture. But a growing number of fans praise Maus and his unrepetent moods of doom, his exaggerated baritone that borders on satire (Bela Lugosi’s dead!), his fondness for ridiculously churchy organs. What is his story, you might ask? He’s a sturdy Midwestern son, PhD student, and pals (and collaborator) with musical cousins Ariel Pink and Panda Bear. We Must Become … is Maus’s third and most cohesive album, though hooks still evade and compelling atmospherics are the order of the day. The wow factor on a few tunes might help reticent listeners come around to falling under Maus’ spell: the chilling waltz that is “Cop Killer,” the gothy “Quantum Leap,” and “Hey Moon,” a gorgeous, dreamy duet with the notable Molly Nilsson (the song’s author), all might catch skeptics by surprise. Actually, if the Gregorian chant-haunted “Keep Pushing On” and the synth pop euphoria of “Believer” don’t convince you, you may as well move along.

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