Mono - For My Parents | Album Review | By Volume

The kid that went down isn't dead; he just can't find his phone. The Hold Steady - Almost Everything


For My Parents

But it’s only the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard.

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Author: on August 17, 2012
Temporary Residence Limited
September 4, 2012

The question is, do we take Mono’s photograph from inside or outside? It sounds like post-rock. Well, shut up. We don’t chastise people for playing guitars, do we? Or pianos. It’s such a clichéd instrument. No. That’s ridiculous. So why for tremolo violins? The crashing awe of For My Parents is not the product of formula, however much you might wish it so. The thing about Mono’s music is that you don’t know where it’s going. You know that it’s going to build to a cinematic crescendo with strings and quivering guitars. If you think that’s all there is to it, you’re missing the point. You don’t know where it’s going to start. “Legend” has the most incredible melody I think I’ve ever encountered.

By simplifying this gorgeous piece of work to the fact it has a quiet-loud dynamic you miss the fact that the reason it’s so utterly engaging, immersive – whatever adjectives you want to use – is the little things. The fragile guitars five minutes into “Nostalgia” are not a pre-determined fact, nor could you rationally argue so. They seem like it because they fit so perfectly, but they’re just as much a product of brilliance as any pop hook. There’s no auto-pilot here. These are all definitely Mono songs. So what? When the definition of a Mono song is something this captivating – that’s the word you were looking for – why are you going to ask them to be anything different? And I don’t say “anything more” because you can’t be more than this. I implore people to embrace music with arms this wide.

Mono are a band that seem genuinely immune to all critical analysis. You already know whether you’re going to care about For My Parents. I’m preaching to the choir, but maybe there are some stragglers in the choir’s midst. If you don’t love music this passionate and astoundingly constructed, for god’s sake let your notions of post-rock go for one damn second and allow yourself to get swept away by the storm of the crescendo and the delicacy of the journey between them. When I first heard Hymn To The Immortal Wind, I disconnected from how few jazz elements or synths or vocal samples there were. To look outside is to actively work against this music. So when someone explains to me that For My Parents is the most post-rock album ever, I don’t give a damn. Shut up and tell me that “Legend” isn’t beyond beautiful.

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