Of Monsters and Men aren’t close to the band that they started out to be. They’ve changed and grown drastically since the release of their debut album, My Head Is An Animal. Whether it’s for the better or for worse depends on the listener. One thing is for sure, it’s that Of Monsters and Men aren’t a mostly folk group with some alt pop leanings. They’re an alt-pop group with some folk leanings – and that folk influence can’t be heard that much on the band’s latest album, FEVER DREAM.
FEVER DREAM is filled with slick production and pop hooks. There’s a ton of overdriven bass, there’s a little bit of electric guitar, and there’s probably an excessive number of synths. The instrumentation is vastly different than what we’ve heard from Of Monsters and Men in the past. Personally, that’s a good thing. This record sounds different. Not just different than Of Monsters and Men music that’s been put out in the past, but from every other record that’s been released this year. The drums are thick and vocals from Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir and Ragnar Þórhallsson are still impressive. They might not haunt you like they’ve done in previous records, but they do a good job of leading the way.
With songs, there are a lot of great ones here. The front of the record is filled with them. There are far more good songs here than bad songs and regardless of who is singing, the subject of what they’re singing about resonates with the listener.
FEVER DREAM is going to be a polarizing record for longtime fans of the band. This is drastically different than how they started; some fans will think it’s worse, others will think it’s better. From this point of view, they’re too musically talented to be stuck doing the very specific type of music that they had been doing up to this point.