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(Funzalo; US: 11 Apr 2006; UK: Available as import)

I was about to call Mint something along the lines of “Grandaddy without synths”, but then I realized that they do use synths, so now I have to settle for “Grandaddy with subtler synths”.  Even that’s kind of a cop-out, however, given that the primary similarities between Grandaddy and the songs on Belgian quintet Mint’s second album Magnetism are a certain detached, mellow feel, and the whispery vocals of Erwin Marcisz and Jason Lytle.  Oh, and there’s a song on Magnetism that humanizes a piece of machinery (“I’m a Traffic Light”).  Other than that, they’re completely different.  Similarities aside, Magnetism is a nice little pop record that sorta rocks out in the way that, say, Sparklehorse “rocks out”, and gets all sensitive at all the right times.  Turning awkward song titles into infectious choruses seems to be a specialty of Marcisz’s, and it only takes two listens to start singing along to things as catchy as “Your Shopping Lists Are Poetry” and “The Magnetism of Pure Gold”.  The album’s highlight, however, is the driving “The Winter of 1985”, whose keyboards give it that icy glare so effective in songs about the winter season, but whose pounding drums propel it to euphoric heights.  This is just the sort of stuff that college radio should love, and for good reason—these guys have some serious talent, even if their sound hasn’t quite yet managed to separate them from some of their contemporaries.


Mike Schiller is a software engineer in Buffalo, NY who enjoys filling the free time he finds with media of any sort -- music, movies, and lately, video games. Stepping into the role of PopMatters Multimedia editor in 2006 after having written music and game reviews for two years previous, he has renewed his passion for gaming to levels not seen since his fondly-remembered college days of ethernet-enabled dorm rooms and all-night Goldeneye marathons. His three children unconditionally approve of their father's most recent set of obsessions.

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