A Quiet Place (Together We Go)
Mono’s last studio release, Hymn to the Immortal Wind, had the four-piece post-rockers collaborating with a 26-piece string orchestra. For their sixth studio album in roughly a decade, the Japanese group complements their own foundation (guitar, bass, piano, percussion, glockenspiels) with the slightly smaller Holy Ground Orchestra (strings, bass and percussion). For My Parents is a rich, enveloping work that weaves stealthy and subtle atmospherics with towering crescendos, sustained tension, and cinematic beauty, and is more a piece with modern classical music than “rock.” The stately tones of the strings, the graceful, coiling cello notes and earthshaking timpanis serve well to interpret the group’s emotional exploration of the “constant” of “child-parent love.” The songs are aptly named: “Legend” feels grand indeed, with a charged, sweeping and string-heavy finale built atop pounding timpanis, and “A Quiet Place” allows the mind to wander — for half its length — in just such a space. The acutely melancholy guitar melody of “Nostalgia” reaches right to the heart, just one of many such moments on this heartfelt work.