The problem with youthful bands is that they grow up. Lyrics shift from optimistic exuberance and young love toward bitterness and broken relationships in an effort to become more mature. We witnessed this phenomenon earlier this year with Los Campesinos!, but Mystery Jets look to avoid falling into the same trap with Serotonin. The album’s tone is both wistful and whimsical, though it would have benefited from at least some of crunch heard on tracks like ‘Hideaway’ or ‘Half in Love with Elizabeth’ from their 2008 release Twenty One. Though a bit less rocking and a little floatier than its predecessor, Serotonin generally maintains the poppy British sound the band is known for.
Serotonin is, of course, a neurotransmitter often connected with feelings of bliss. Whether that feeling of bliss is of natural or medicated origin isn’t answered, but it suits the band’s newfound love of synthesizers, as seen in the opening of ‘Too Late to Talk’. An increased feeling of nostalgia and longing is pervasive throughout the album, though it never becomes overwhelming, and Mystery Jets’ charm continues to shine through. In fact, these moody moments help balance out the songs that are almost too cheery, like the whistle and kazoo filled ‘Flash a Hungry Smile’. Despite diving too far into the twee pool with that song, the band quickly follows with the title track, which is just a pop gem.
While the presence of Laura Marling, who provided guest vocals on previous single ‘Young Love’, is missed, Serotonin should fulfill your requirements for youthful British rock music, though it could have used that extra kick.
Tags: Mystery Jets