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Mùm Summer Make Good

The cutest little band on earth returns with its darkest effort to date, an album that trades in the dew-dappled splendor of past outings for moonlit mood music. Much has been made of Mùm's environmental approach to recording, and the field recordings strewn throughout this album (whether of whistling wind or creaking clapboards) deftly evoke the lighthouse in which it was recorded. Still, one can't help but think that the Icelandic soundscape is herein reduced to caricature, and a maudlin one at that. The estimation is confirmed by these songs, which seem more like assayed lullabies than fully formed pieces of music. Rockist though this criticism may be, there's an utter lack of tunes here, nothing which allows singer Kristin Anna Valtysdottir to emerge past the embryonic fairy steez which has become her cloying trademark. Just call this one a nautical disaster.

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