Do It For The Story is, for want of a better word…odd. But odd is good, right? Who wants to hear more of the same indie-pop conformity or muscled metal macho-ism? Who needs dance routine driven chart compliance or mumbling, self-aggrandising rappers with nothing real to say? Not I!
Thankfully, Mikey Muffins offers us an album with little comparison, perhaps a touch of Randy Newman wanders into their creative space from time to time, especially with the punning and slightly tongue-in-cheek vibe that they give off but not much else springs to mind.
The music seems as if it might be more at home as part of a musical theatre production or as the output of the droll pianist playing the corner of the coolest cocktail lounge in town as it does heading for mass consumption. But there is no reason why you can’t cater to both the more discerning market and still pick up some mainstream following or even chart traction.
All Depressed Up and Nowhere To Go (see what I mean about the punning) rises up on some dark undercurrents, brooding and bruised, before opening up into a sort of brand of gothic vaudeville, Where We Chose is a jaunty, upbeat acoustic-driven song with such sparse yet poetic lyrics that it is almost an instrumental, and I Don’t Think I Have It In Me (The Other Story) runs on a manic on/off groove and a twisted lyric that They Might Be Giants would have loved to have got their hands on.
As a music writer, it is my job to point out why an album works, what it is trying to say, where it is going and why you should buy this album rather than the one next to it. With Do It For The Story, I really don’t know why it works, it just does, and once you get a few songs in it really starts to grow on you. But isn’t that the point?
It’s certainly a strange album but where would the fun be in life if we could explain everything and put all our experiences into neat little boxes. Well, the same is true of music and in the case of this album, doubly so!