Mark Mullen | What's In Your Head

 
Mark Mullen

Family Average: 4/7

Wee haw baby! The family is back at it again. Today we bring you some real raw and earthy stuff. It is a singer songwriter named Mark Mullen. Fans of acoustic guitar, and fantastic metaphors rejoice. This is a good place you have found yourself in. A couple people down there have a hard time listening to music that has a little too much melancholy. Who is to say there is an appropriate amount of sad? None of us that is for darn sure. Either way take a look down there and see what we all had to say.

Listen along on Their Bandcamp and read on to find out:

 
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I will always be charmed by some well-done acoustic guitar and sincere vocals. So immediately, Mark Mullen had my attention. This is a classic singer-songwriter album guaranteed to get you feeling feelings. It's a good album to drink wine with. Maybe a bottle of it. Maybe by yourself. I won't judge.

Nothing about this is uplifting, but it is pretty. The finger-picking is sweet and light, while the lyrics are completely grim. It's like he is the Eeyore of singer-songwriters. Nevertheless, it feels poignant. There is a personal depth to the tracks that yields a certain connection with his audience. And don't get me wrong, I love a good sad album. It keeps me young.

No, actually it reminds me that life is hard, we're all gonna die (eventually), and that everyone feels sad sometimes (all the time).

Overall, there is a naturalness and humility to it that is really quite lovely. And no, Mr. Mullen isn't forging any new paths here. It's a style and trope of music that has been well and truly done. However, his emotion and sentiment is palpable, authentic, and deserves to be lauded for creating something that makes us feel.

4/7

 
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I saw this album and thought I would give it a go. Very ingenious the lyrics to “Melon Song” are “What’s in your Head?” I like the little play on words here. I also appreciate the raw stripped down music.  This made you feel like you were sitting in a small coffee shop listening to a singer/songwriter pour his heart out to you. That being said, I don’t know if it’s the tone of his voice or his demeanor, but he does sound pretty sad. I started to hope he would get happier as the tracks went on. “Throwing Stones” was probably the most upbeat track and I would have to say my favorite. I feel if he tried to vary his tempo on various tracks it might give him the depth he needs to appeal to more people.  He is definitely a talented songwriter, however I think he needs to pump a little more life or energy into his singing to get people to listen. I give this

3/7

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When your musical schtick is a guitar and a voice (possibly some piano or percussion thrown in occasionally), it can be kinda hard to stand out. The result is all right, but if I’m being honest it’s a sound that I’ve heard quite a few times before. But I guess the point of this kind of music really isn’t about standing out or being super impactful. Maybe it’s just here to provide an enjoyable experience. It’s got a coffee shop singer vibe. Kinda wispy, far-off, and a bit wishy-washy. The first song picks up a bit with the addition of the piano, but later songs sorta just fade into the background. When I was tuning in the lyrics were sometimes ear-catching, using extended metaphors and whatnot. “Out of Flame” was where it started to pick up a bit and have more emotion. Granted it was a bit corny but there’s charm in that. “Throwing Stones” I think was the song from this album that stood out the most. It had a beat you could tap to, and the lyrics were inventive and caught my attention. And while it was a bit more lacking on the instrument end “Motel 666” also met success with its vocals. If they could maybe harness a bit more of what was in the latter two songs, I think they might be able to work on a sound that makes them more unique. At the moment it’s a bit nondescript, but there’s a hint of passion in there that shows promise.

4/7

 
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For an album who’s artwork boasts a decapitated baby person statue, this is severely lacking in blast beats. Funny right? Okay all kidding aside this was a swirling twirling cauldron of depression–and that’s a good thing!

I need music like this in my space. Music that reminds me of the futility of life. The strange sometimes cruel nature of fate. The whole album is just all around saturated with the stuff you don’t like to think about. That being said when they get delivered to you with a haunting vocal style and fingerpicking guitars it just cuts deeper than you were ever prepared.

Okay so all that stuff above got a little depressing, but trust me it’s good to know what you are getting into. The album starts out bleak and somehow gets progressively bleaker throughout the entire album. There are tons of fantastic metaphors, and word play bits popping up. My favorite being the one that comes up in “Out Of frame”. The line goes something like “But my steel, it always turns to rust”

The style of playing is appropriately stripped down. Occasionally a little piano will nip in from time to time, but for the most part his vocals and acoustic guitar are the center focus. He manages to carry the whole thing well.

Let's all hold hands, pop this Diddy in and have a big old cry together!

5/7

 
Sean Maldjian