Mystery Jets: Serotonin

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Mystery Jets
Serotonin
(Rough Trade)

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When Mystery Jets burst onto the indie scene in 2005, they were lauded for their upbeat sound and sprawling melodies. While energy has always been a gift of the band, it has at times hampered their sound by making it too disjointed or muddled. However, with their third album, Serotonin, Mystery Jets have nailed a more mature, stable fence to straddle between melody and chaos. The end result is something akin to Pulp covering Sgt. Pepper-era Beatles. The synthesizers are just as dreamy as ever, but the vocals are much more subdued, showing off the strength of members’ voices rather than constantly driving them to loud chanting.

Many of the tracks on this album stand out on their own strength, with no song weighing down the rest. “Alice Springs” has churning keyboards and delicate vocals that lead to building guitar and drums, making it the perfect opening. “Flash a Hungry Smile” shows signs of Mystery Jets’ old energy, but everything hangs together around jaunty whistling and lyrics like “when you walk into the room, girls growl, boys swoon.” Contrasting that attractive character is “Lady Grey,” who comes across as a lifeless woman whose name may be a cheeky reference to a type of tea. There are no real flaws to pick apart on this album, and Mystery Jets can be proud that they have grown into a modern band that can formulate a perfect pop song without getting weighed down in indie synth or relentless guitar riffs.

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