Saturday, October 9, 2010

Frightened Rabbit: The Winter of Mixed Drinks

These Scotsmen know how to rock.  Their debut album, 2008's Midnight Organ Fight, rocks, but it is partially in the fetal position in the corner, dealing with the pain and anger following a broken heart.  The Winter of Mixed Drinks, however, has the tone and feel of an album that is "over it."  If Organ Fight is the setting sun at the end of a long and painful day, Mixed Drinks is the dawn of the next morning, bringing with it hope and healing.

The opening track, "Things," makes it clear that the narrator has moved on; he realizes that things are just things, so he abandons them and embraces the freedom.  From there, he moves on and he doesn't care to where, offering up one of my year's favorite lyrics: "Swim until you can't see land."  Continuing to find self-assurance, lead singer Scott Hutchison proclaims one another song that a girl in his past "was not the cure for cancer."  One of the song titles, in fact, is "Not Miserable."

In addition to the less depressing lyrics, the tempo and sound of the music seems happier -- not cheesier, mind you, but filled a bit more with contentment.  Even the slower-paced piano rock of "FootShooter" or the fuzzed-out and few-noted "Not Miserable" don't feel melancholy.  While no song matches the pace of "Living in Colour," it's "Swim" that takes the cake on this album with its added strings:

Grade: B+
Blurb: If you're in the midst of post-break-up angst, then throw on Organ Fight and cry it out, but if you've moved on or if you're trying to move on, Mixed Drinks should give you a buzz.

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