And the Glass Handed Kites

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And the Glass Handed Kites
Studio album by Mew
Released 19 September 2005
Recorded 2004 - 2005
Genre Alternative rock, new prog, dream pop, shoegazing, symphonic rock
Length 53:59
Label Sony BMG
Producer Michael Beinhorn
Mew chronology
Frengers
(2003)
And the Glass Handed Kites
(2005)
No More Stories...
(2009)
Singles from And the Glass Handed Kites
  1. "Apocalypso"
    Released: 18 July 2005
  2. "Special"
    Released: September 2005
  3. "Why Are You Looking Grave?"
    Released: 6 February 2006
  4. "The Zookeeper's Boy"
    Released: 17 April 2006

And the Glass Handed Kites is the fourth studio album by Danish band Mew, released 19 September 2005 in Denmark, 24 September 2005 in the United Kingdom and 25 July 2006 in the United States on Sony BMG.[1][2][3] This was the last Mew album to feature bassist Johan Wohlert, who left the band the following year to focus on being a father.[4]

Overview[edit]

And the Glass Handed Kites was composed as a single continuous suite. Critics have likened the album to one long song due to the tracks' unnoticed transitions.[5]

And the Glass Handed Kites' sound has been compared to Sigur Rós, Dinosaur Jr., Ride, a concept album and progressive rock.[5][6][7][8] In fact, the album features Dinosaur Jr.'s J Mascis contributing backing vocals on the tracks "Why Are You Looking Grave?" and "An Envoy to the Open Fields."[9]

And the Glass Handed Kites peaked at #2 on Denmark's Tracklisten.[10] Four singles were released for the album: "Apocalypso," "Special," "Why Are You Looking Grave?" and "The Zookeeper's Boy." Despite originally not having been released as a single, the track "The Zookeeper's Boy" gained massive popularity with the biggest radio station in Denmark, P3, reaching #1 on the radio's Tjeklisten charts from October 9, 2005 through November 6, 2005.[11][12] The track was voted "Hit of the Year" by Gaffa readers, with another Mew song ("Special") coming in second.[13] "The Zookeeper's Boy" was later released as a single in 2006.[14]

The Japanese bonus track, "Shiroi Kuchibiruno Izanai" is very similar to the album track "White Lips Kissed", but the lyrics and title have been translated into Japanese.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars link
Drowned in Sound (9/10) link
Entertainment Weekly B link
Pitchfork Media (8.4/10) link
PopMatters (7/10) link
GAFFA 4/6 stars link

And the Glass Handed Kites has been well received by critics. James Christopher Monger of Allmusic gave the album a positive review, writing "Fans of OK Computer-era Radiohead, My Bloody Valentine, and Disintergration-era Cure will find And the Glass Handed Kites one of the most breathtaking things to come along since the dawn of the dream pop/post-punk genres themselves."[6] Drowned in Sound's Jordan Dowling also gave And the Glass Handed Kites a positive review, writing "If you are looking for an album that you can put on for a couple minutes to fill time then you'd do better to look elsewhere, but if you want to be transported to an ethereal demi-world stuck between real life and dreams then ensure you purchase this. A masterpiece of overstated proportions, which is the greatest concept of all."[5] Pitchfork Media's Nitsuh Abebe praised the album's epic feel and called the album "a terrific accomplishment."[8] However, the same website criticized the album cover, naming it one of the worst album covers of 2006.[15]

In a more mixed review, Conrad Amenta of Cokemachineglow.com wrote "The real shame is that on this album... the songs become secondary to the gesture. They are denied a sense of finality or, in And the Glass Handed Kite’s case, are sometimes deprived of an ending altogether." Amenta concluded: "The band does have the musical ability, their songs are reasonably well constructed, and the melodies are there. It’s only the ridiculous costume of importance they wear so self-consciously that’ll keep them from ever joining the party."[16]

The album has won several music prizes in Denmark, including four Danish Music Awards.[17] Gaffa named And the Glass Handed Kites the best Danish album of 2005.[18] The album also helped Mew win awards outside of Denmark, with the band winning the 2005 MTV Europe Music Award for Best Danish Act. Pitchfork Media ranked the song "The Zookeeper's Boy" #92 on its list of the top 100 tracks of 2006.[19]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Mew. 

No. Title Length
1. "Circuitry of the Wolf"   2:45
2. "Chinaberry Tree"   3:33
3. "Why Are You Looking Grave? (features vocals by J Mascis)"   3:50
4. "Fox Cub"   1:15
5. "Apocalypso"   4:46
6. "Special"   3:12
7. "The Zookeeper's Boy"   4:43
8. "A Dark Design"   3:29
9. "Saviours of Jazz Ballet (Fear Me, December)"   3:18
10. "An Envoy to the Open Fields (features vocals by J Mascis)"   3:40
11. "Small Ambulance"   1:05
12. "The Seething Rain Weeps for You (Uda Pruda)"   4:18
13. "White Lips Kissed"   6:45
14. "Louise Louisa"   7:20

Personnel[edit]

The following people contributed to And the Glass Handed Kites:[20]

Mew[edit]

  • Jonas Bjerre - guitar, vocals
  • Bo Madsen - guitar
  • Johan Wohlert - bass
  • Silas Utke Graae Jørgensen - drums

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Gaël Amzalag - Photography
  • Kevin Bacon - Mixing
  • Michael Beinhorn - Engineer, Producer
  • Mathias Aagaard Christensen - Boy's Choir, Choir, Chorus
  • Niklas Emil De Freis - Boy's Choir, Choir, Chorus
  • Frank Filipetti - Engineer
  • Pete Jackson - Management
  • George Marino - Mastering
  • J Mascis - Vocals, Vocals (Background)
  • Alan McGee - Management
  • Jonathan Quarmby - Mixing
  • Bo Rande - Flugelhorn, Trumpet
  • Felipe Tichauer - Engineer
  • Damon Tuntunjian - Guitar

Charts[edit]

Album[edit]

Chart (2005/2006) Peak
position
Danish Album Charts 2[10]
Finnish Album Charts 4[10]
Norwegian Album Charts 4[10]
Swedish Album Charts 36[10]

Singles[edit]

Year Song Peak positions
UK
[21]
Den
[22][23][14][24]
2005 "Apocalypso" 75
2005 "Special" 46
2006 "Why Are You Looking Grave?" 53 20
2006 "The Zookeeper's Boy" 13
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mew – And The Glass Handed Kites - Denmark. Discogs. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
  2. ^ Mew – And The Glass Handed Kites: Mew: Amazon.co.uk. Amazon.com. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
  3. ^ Mew – And The Glass Handed Kites - US. Discogs. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
  4. ^ Kloster, Martin. Bassist forlader fra Mew. fyens.dk. 11 April 2006. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  5. ^ a b c Dowling, Jordan. Mew - And The Glass Handed Kites. Drowned in Sound. 27 September 2005. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  6. ^ a b Monger, James. And the Glass Handed Kites. Allmusic. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  7. ^ Bernard, David. Mew: And the Glass Handed Kites. Popmatters. 21 October 2005. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
  8. ^ a b Abebe, Nitsuh. Album Reviews: Mew: And the Glass Handed Kites. Pitchfork Media. 8 August 2006. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  9. ^ a b Mew - And The Glass Handed Kites (CD, Album). Discogs. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  10. ^ a b c d e "Mew - And the Glass Handed Kites". danishcharts.com. Retrieved 2 August 2011. 
  11. ^ P3 - Tjelisten 9/10 2005. P3. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
  12. ^ P3 - Tjelisten 6/11 2005. P3. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
  13. ^ Tuxen, Henrik. GAFFA-Prisen 2005: Mew og Coldplay topscorere. Gaffa. 4 January 2006. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  14. ^ a b MEW - THE ZOOKEEPER'S BOY (SONG). dannishcharts.com. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  15. ^ Schreiber, Ryan. Top 25 Worst Album Covers of 2006. Pitchfork Media. 14 December 2006. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  16. ^ Amenta, Conrad. Mew: And the Glass Handed Kites. Cokemachineglow.com. 2 February 2006. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  17. ^ Torp, Nicolai. Danish Music Awards 2006 - og vinderne blev.... Soundvenue. 11 March 2006. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  18. ^ Svidt, Ole. GAFFA kårer årets album 2005. Gaffa. 1 December 2005. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  19. ^ Pitchfork Staff. The Top 100 Tracks of 2006 . Pitchfork Media. 18 December 2006. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
  20. ^ And the Glass Handed Kites - Credits. Allmusic. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  21. ^ "MEW - The Official Charts Company". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2 August 2011. 
  22. ^ MEW - WHY ARE YOU LOOKING GRAVE (SONG). dannishcharts.com. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  23. ^ MEW - SPECIAL (SONG). dannishcharts.com. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  24. ^ MEW - APOCALYPSO (SONG). dannishcharts.com. Retrieved 2 August 2011.

External links[edit]