As visually intriguing as the video for Mew's "Comforting Sounds" is, to me, it more lends itself to thoughts of what this video could have possibly meant for the band's career if things had worked out differently. If released today, what would the effect have been on the Danish band, and why didn't it happen that way?
The song, off of 2003's Frengers, is the epic closer on what many refer to as the band's best effort to-date. Soaring through spacious and sprawling solos, the music is emotional and in many ways functions as the perfect end to the effort as a whole. As a stand-alone track, its ongoing crescendo is a focal point of its appeal, and what drives the song to its triumphant conclusion. The video is basic-- just a simple representation of what (symbolically) makes the human body function, followed by some power chords, but that's where it draws its strength from. By lacking unnecessary details, it brings better attention to the music itself, in a focused statement.
If "Comforting Sounds" had come out today, there's no doubt it would have vaulted Mew from their current marginal fame to a stratosphere few alternative artists currently occupy. Here, their similarities to the likes of Coldplay and Snow Patrol are uncanny, yet Mew accomplishes the aesthetic so much better. The music reaches emotional high points, but ones that are artistically motivating and honest, and lack that sort of mainstream, Grey's Anatomy appeal to turn it into a breakout hit amongst everyone age 18-40. So, I guess, for the most part, thank God that didn't happen, otherwise I'd hate the track instead. To make your own judgement call though, check it out below.
[Previously on Animal Noises: New Mew Video: "Repeaterbeater"]