Music

Mini Mansions: The Great Pretenders

Melodic, dark, contemporary music with delightful twists and turns, Mini Mansions's The Great Pretenders offers fans a bit of psychedelic swirl amalgamated with sensible, fairly sophisticated, fun pop rock.


Mini Mansions

The Great Pretenders

Label: Electro Magnetic
US Release Date: 2015-03-23
UK Release Date: 2015-03-23
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Mini Mansions's latest offering, The Great Pretenders, is darker, contemporary pop music, full of eccentric twists and delightful, unexpected turns. This 11-song long player represents natural evolution: refinement or increased sophistication of the band's sound from its eponymous debut. The rhythm section's instrumentation challenges a typical rock setup without artifice. Musicianship is overall superb, with parts played to serve and expand the songs. Much-lauded guests Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys) and Brian Wilson (The Beach Boys) round out the sound on "Vertigo" and "Any Emotions", respectively. Lyrics relate a pensive, introspective message. Tough topics tackled include existentialism ("Any Emotions"), religion ("The End, Again"), relationships ("Death is a Girl", "Creeps"), and unhappiness ("Freakout!"). Dual vocals rich in harmony remain a prominent band strength. A pleasant listen from start to finish, this melodic and musical album represents a welcome change of pace for pop music fans seeking something just a little different.

7

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The Cigarette: A Political History (By the Book)

Sarah Milov's The Cigarette restores politics to its rightful place in the tale of tobacco's rise and fall, illustrating America's continuing battles over corporate influence, individual responsibility, collective choice, and the scope of governmental power. Enjoy this excerpt from Chapter 5. "Inventing the Nonsmoker".

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