“Multi-Love” Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Multi-Love Album review

Jagjaguwar Records

Released May 26, 2015

Genre: Indie Rock, Indie Pop, R&B, Lo-Fi, Psychedelic Rock, Psychedelic Soul

Multi-Love is the third installment in Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s repertoire, led by the technical Ruban Nielson with his band consisting of members Jacob Portrait on bass, Riley Geare on drums, and Quincy McCrary on the keyboards.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra has many good attributes, the best one being that all of the members of the band are extremely talented musicians. They take pride in their music and their style which is definitely something to admire and respect. Ruban obsesses about the rhythms, the tone, the flair, and lyrics. It seems like he actually cares about what he is making, carefully creating not just songs, but HIS own songs or stories he wants to share. THIS gives the band credibility, making it easy for listeners to take Unknown Mortal Orchestra seriously. Multi-Love has dynamic soundscapes that truly differentiate from anything else out on the scene. A mix of independent indie rock and rhythm and blues, Ruban and his band love exploring each genre and mixing the two perfectly together.

Starting off with a strong hook, “Multi-Love” really grabs your attention with the staccato keyboard notes and somewhat haunting vocals telling the story of a man’s heart that has been “trashed like a hotel room” by his two polygamous lovers, hence the name of the song and album, Multi-Love.This is the first but not the last time polygamous ideas and imagery appear in an LP, which is really interesting as it is thought provoking. He DOES love both women. In fact, he memorably sings in the chorus, “She don’t want to be your man or woman. She wants to be your love,” revealing that the love in this trifecta cannot be defined; it is pure and unpolluted emotion they all share. In this way, is what they are doing okay? Is it still wrong? I think it is mainly up to the listener.

Along with polyamorous desires, other adult themes are also explored on this album.  From drugs physically dissolving his life in “Acid Rain,” to having one night stands in “Ur life One Night,” this album shows the complicated sides of being an adult in our current culture. After the opener, many other songs are great pieces as well, although this album lets itself down in the fact that out of the 9 songs, only a handful are memorable. This seems to be a problem in all of Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s albums, often boasting some standouts while the majority of the songs are unremarkable. With Multi-Love only consisting of 9 songs, this is definitely a problem.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s third album clearly deserves claim for their catchy, well written, and overall good time songs, but it still leaves much to be desired.

FAV SONGS: Multi-Love, Like Acid Rain, Can’t Keep Checking My Phone, Extreme Wealth and Casual Cruelty

LEAST FAV SONGS: Ur Life One Night, The World Is Crowded, Puzzles, Stage or Screen

Score: (7.0/10)


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