Album Reviews

Maupa – The Minor Highs And The Major Lows

(necessary) UK release date: 27 September 2004

Comprising of six highly adept musicians from Accrington, Lancashire, Maupa have recently gained notable interest among music aficionados by winning the British part of the initial Wanadoo discoveries contest – a music event organised over four European countries, the UK, France, Spain and the Netherlands.

Maupa have a blatant gift for juxtaposing contrasting musical styles, which largely hark back to the early experiments in progressive rock and pop; bringing to mind late 70’s bands like Genesis and Marillion but with adding a dose of contemporary influences such as Radiohead.

As an appetiser for the release of The Minor Highs And The Major Lows, Maupa released the excellent single, Helpless at the end of last year. For those who bought the single, or at least heard it, you will not be let down with this album, it has a nerve pinching ambience, haunting, moody sounds and sweet, melodic vocals.

It all begins with Wish, an hypnotic tune which captivates you with sweet-scented vocals,a steady beat and a generally good feeling. Helpless is a stunning, mellifluousness track while Bag Song is a tuneful, harmonious number with delicate vocals and a cool, well paced drumbeat.

Walking Home is a relaxing song with a nice breeze of soft harmonies and a calm set of notes, and Another Week floats along with a further sense of delightful light-hearted melodiousness. Autumn Breeze is as refreshing as it sounds, without a drop of tension, while A Hard Day Will Mend is a delicious track with yet more helpings of tuneful vocals and a silvery blend of instruments.

Sour Fruit has some intricately laid vocals and a jazzy mood, the percussion parts are finely crafted and the guitar strumming is free-flowing. Nobody Told Me is further evidence of this terrific group of musicians, there is not a wrong move, it all seems completely uninhibited, the tempo kicks up a few notches toward the end but the notes stay within reach.

The Minor Highs And The Major Lows is a superlative, honourable and totally consistent album with utter, unwavering feelings of ease. It has no great riffs or any stand out track, the whole album is like a fantasy: it pours into one long dream of heavenly sounds that will raise the little hairs on your arms and leave you with a yearning for more music from this inventive and intriguing set of musicians.

Judging by this bravado display of talent and delightfully dulcet debut album, Maupa will be experiencing some very major highs on their current route to gracing the front covers of the major music press and eventual towering chart success. Maupa make music with passion and honesty – all I can say is, more please!

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Maupa – The Minor Highs And The Major Lows