Album Review: Mystery Jets – Curve Of The Earth

By Eli Schoop, Copy Editor

[EMI; 2015]

Rating: 2/5

Key Tracks: “Bombay Blue”

In his book Retromania, Simon Reynolds describes the titled phenomenon as a pervasive nostalgia for the past that seems to penetrate most facets of pop culture. From the constant influx of decade-themed content pretty much everywhere one looks to the clamoring for revivalist gestures, it’s apparent that anyone can find a certain artifact from the past perfectly suited to the present.

Mystery Jets operate on this mythos. Their press photos mirror the classic ’60s iconography made famous by The Beatles and The Who, while key influences such as Pink Floyd and King Crimson aren’t exactly the subtlest indicators of a band’s sound. It’s a painful kind of appropriation, one where the love is heartfelt yet misrepresentative of the actual quality put into the work.

This is Buzzfeed-esque music, screaming “Here’s A Band That Gets What Music Is Really About” and probably getting a headline slot at Glastonbury in the near future. The melodies and rhythms aren’t too bad by themselves, but what exactly is so pleasant or noteworthy about the whole package? Mystery Jets make it so hard to articulate how their songs make you feel because they really don’t emote at all. It’s like the musical version of plain white flour, covered in thinly veiled flower-power worship.

The music industry is, and has always been, extremely cutthroat in nature, what with sources of revenue being extremely hard to come by and to sustain. Mystery Jets are doing themselves no favors by releasing content that’s so blasé. It’s quite difficult to see them continuing in the future with an upward trajectory. Bands like Tame Impala and Foxygen show how there’s no shortage of ’60s-inspired music in the market currently, and Curve Of The Earth doesn’t suggest you should stray away from those acts towards Mystery Jets.

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