Mae hits the scene with their debut on Tooth & Nail Records entitled Destination: Beautiful, defining themselves as "melodic, energetic rock." And though it is a fitting title, Mae is an "emo band" in nearly every sense of the word. But they look outside the box and bring a depth to their lyrics and music that is unparalleled in the Christian market.
Destination: Beautiful has a very peaceful feel to it, but at the same time hardly loses its rock edge. It's hard to pull something like that off, and Mae gets serious points for doing it right. Grinding guitar actually accompanies Dave Gimenez' soft, soothing vocals on some tracks. Songs like "Embers and Envelopes," "This Time Is the Last Time," and "Last Call" move slowly and melodically through the verses before exploding in the choruses. It is not heavy in any sense of the word, but adds a layer of realism and power to each track it inhabits.
In typical emo style, Mae delivers many a song about young love. Subjects of redemption are presented as well, but an overlying love theme is forefront on this entire release. Unlike most in the emo business, Mae does not speak much on the subject of breakups, but rather, the joys of blooming relationships. While most emo bands are more likely to dwell on the past, Mae is ready for a bright future - uncommon of typical emo fare, and definitely a welcome arrival.
Articulately crafted and brilliantly delivered, Mae's debut is one of those rare albums that pleasantly surprises you every time you listen to it. It is hard to find any fault in this young band. The potential is obvious, and the objective clear. Mae's destination is not the only thing beautiful about them. Not by a long shot.- Review date: 8/10/03, revised 11/27/04, written by Josh Taylor
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