I The Mighty - Where the Mind Wants You to Go/Where You Let it Go Album Review
I the Mighty has kept their name prominent in the music industry for just about ten years now after their formation in 2007. Staying together and continuing to make music proves a tremendous success in a generation with music that has been changing so rapidly and steering more away from the alternative, hardcore and the grungy rock that I the Mighty fits the genre of. On Oct. 20, 2017, they released their most developed and intriguing album to date, titled Where the Mind Wants You to Go/Where You Let it Go, the third full-length from Equal Vision Records following their 2013 album titled Satori and their 2015 album Connector. The album seems to deal with the struggles with pubescent thoughts and angst, relationships and depression, which is nothing unexpected. While the band has a history of this more angry, angsty style, this album took a completely new direction from the hardcore, restless rock to a more relaxed, unique power of raw emotion wrapped in the 11 song LP.
The album begins with the song “Degenerates,” which was released as a single prior to the album. The audience is greeted with an intriguing, soft guitar solo and the appealing, smooth axe of singer Brent Walsh talking about the struggles of depression and how difficult it is to simply wake up in the morning. While the band would typically go deeper into the track and sing about suicide and how they’ve hit rock bottom and turn the song into screams, they actually pick it up with a more light-hearted message, recognizing that self-pity and wallowing is not the path that leads you to a better lifestyle and that he believes that the place he’s in right now will help him on the path to his recovery. “My head was heavy with thoughts when I got home/ I started to focus on my fears, I thought of dying alone /But how I hate to get caught in pointless thought /Self-pity gets me nowhere /I guess we've all got things we're still working out /I think I found my place.” This is an excellent way to begin an album, pulling the audience in with an intriguing new sound and message.
The album then takes a complete turn from an attractive song about realizing your worth, to a total turn-off about borderline stalking with the following song, “Pet Names.” The song is about the ending of a relationship and the panic and heartbreak that can come with it. However, the song takes the poppy, dancing feel and turns it into a song less about heartbreak and more about stalking the person who caused you pain, drinking away your sorrows and refusing to move on. The inconsistency of the album makes itself prominent almost immediately and becomes less of the hopeful tune that the album began with and becomes a cringe worthy album about 12-year-old teenaged angst, suicide, regret, malaise and succeeds greatly in making the audience uncomfortable.
While the album is still unique in the more indie and acoustic sound I the Mighty created, the lyrics and message the album put out is far less than the “masterpiece” it has been said to be. Lyrics like, “I think I'll eat this whole pizza to myself /I think I'll blame all of my problems on somebody else /I think I'm ready to destroy my sense of self /You can join me, but don't freak out,” are definitely secondary to a “masterpiece.” The inconsistency between accepting and loving yourself and killing yourself and stalking your ex-girlfriend is more of a peeve than a miscellaneous track list and I the Mighty should be prepared for more negative criticism to come.
Lilly Adams is a freshman majoring in film/video. To contact her, email email@example.com.
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Sophomore / Film/Video Studies