Album Review: Mouse on the Keys' "Out Of Body"
By Shane Moyer
One of the most treasured things in my life is the simplicity of this statement and action: “Headphones on, world off.” Mouse on the Keys begs me to do just that with their aptly titled Out of Body. Albeit momentary, this eloquent tour of sounds and silences outshines all that is expected of the talented trio. Track by track, Out of Body somberly yanks one’s pneuma from most trivial thought and then coerces it to frolic and play. I urge you to put your headphones on, turn up the volume, and go on a journey. I am willing to bet your current world will melt into the background until you are proverbially out of body.
With its broke-up beat and sick skip fills, “Earache” charges out of the gate and immediately gets in your face. Huge atmosphere takes the ear somewhere else real quick where it is sprinkled with some brilliant Rhodes and a lead piano that takes over at the break down. The arrangement bleeds jazz with a supercharged electric feel. “Dark Lights” is essential to the albums crescendo to climax. Its slow drums and warm underglow of the organ allow us the opportunity to really get to feel the passion of the piano. The song makes me want to close my eyes and completely immerse myself in Out of Body’s feels.
“Afterglow” is a full-on in your head movement, orchestrating the pure talent of Mouse on the Keys. The snappy jazz rolls, flush with hard hitting bass drum on the drop, allows one to really get into the groove. This sound would be all too familiar if it wasn’t for the eerie atmosphere and the bring-down break-down. I wish I could emphasize enough the perfection of placement and timing that “Afterglow” brings to this album. After a perfect climax, the band flexes their musical prowess with what I would call an homage to classical piano composition. The ivory keys tell a story of mourning and the somber hip hop beat fills us with remorse. I would ask that “Elegie” be played at the celebration of my passing to the next, because it is perfectly perplexing and chastens death
We have ached, we have closed our eyes, we have transcended, and we have grieved. What is left is the next story. The narrative of “Out of Body,” the last track, is mysterious yet inviting. It compels one to think about the nature of things and I am left to feel that it is not over. It is not over after life in body and it is especially not over for the accomplished Mouse on the Keys.