I love Iceland. Any country famous for it's daringly unique music has my vote. From singer/professional weirdo Bjork to legendary epic balladeers Sigur Ros, the roster is awe-inspiring. One such juggernaut of musicality, though less well-known, is a grizzly looking chap named Mugison.Trading laptops and synth pads for more raw ingredients like guitars, horns, and the organ, Icelands very own Jack-of-all-genres returns to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants to. Sometimes he wants to riff a bluesy foot-thumper with a twinge of distortion. Sometimes he wants to scream as loud as he can over confusion and chaos. Sometimes he wants to moan "Jesus." One thing he never wants to do, however is bore us. Welcome to forty minutes of anything but the expected.
"Mugiboogie" just explodes with the sheer power of Mugison's writing, his influence in classics, as well as his electronic experience, melting together and stewing in a cauldron of music magic. The tracks that follow move back and forth between screaming and crooning, bubbling and frothing. Mugison keeps a feverish pace throughout the record, even slipping into a metal sounding number in the middle, and reaching levels of the unimaginable.
The problem is that he also reaches levels of the unlistenable, even the goofy, proving once again that Iceland is slightly more tolerable of the strange, vicarious nature of it's musicians. On "Two Thumb Sucking of a Boyo," the beginning is laughable, and the song itself goes through phases of strange screams and one section with some alternating odd banjo-like strums and eccentric drum pounds. This track leads into a piano soaked folksy ballad, dressed with brushed drums and strings, which swells and crescendos into a groove that sounds vaguely movie-score-esque (or Brian Eno produced). Sometimes diveristy is good, but to the extreme, it becomes confusing and violent to the ears.
In the end, the album is enjoyable and certainly different. It's never boring, or trite; Mugison certainly keeps us on the edge of our seats, and beckons us to jump. The only issue is, sometimes we do, and sometimes we don't. -joe puglisi