# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Mise en Scene - Still Life on Fire

  by Steve Kinrade

published: 2 / 10 / 2017

Mise en Scene - Still Life on Fire
Label: Membran
Format: CD


Energetic second album from potentially promising Winnipeg-based art rockers Mise en Scene

This sees the second album outing for Winnipeg’s Mise en Scene. After their 2012 offering 'Desire's Despair', and after much touring during the intervening years, a lot has been expected from this latest offering. But does it build on that initial promise? Well, yes and no. The album starts with the sleepy ambient, atmospheric 'Intro', which lulls the listener into a false sense of security for what is to come – 'Closer'. This is a really energetic track which benefits from Stefanie Blondal Johnson’s sometime idiosyncratic vocal style that conjures up a mixture Aimee Mann, Ari Up and Annabella Lwin at a karaoke party. Her vocal style has personality and energy. Other highlights include 'Light in the Night', 'Waster', the lovely stand-out title track. Some of the track, howevver, do just come across as rather stock, such as 'Guts/Glory' or 'I’m OK'. Although it is evident that there is a great degree of song-writing craftsmanship and tune-smither on show here, some of these songs would benefit from a more adventurous production ethos; to be grittier and more sonically adventurous. Listening to their first album, there does seem to be a shift towards a more polished production with this second outing, which I’m not sure does this band any artistic favours. There are, however, lots of great things to admire about this band, and I feel that they haven’t yet hit their creative stride. This album will succeed in placing them on a lot of people's music radar, but I feel that it gives us a fascinating and exciting hint of what is yet to come. Mise En Scene can be a rareexample of a band who has longevity within them, based on a true core of dedicated artistic intent. Listening to these songs, and when they have done acoustic “un-plugged” sessions, reminded me of R.E.M circa 'Murmur' and #Reckoning', as well as Throwing Muses more left-field moments. 'Still Life On Fire' is the work of a band whose aim is true with regard to composition, but are still unsure of how they should be portrayed within the recording arena. However, Mise en Scene are just too good to let these uncertainties detract from their natural progression to greater artistic recognition. And it will happen, I am certain of it.

Track Listing:-
1 Intro (Nothing)
2 Closer
3 Light In The Night
4 Guts/Glory
5 I'm Ok
6 Waster
7 Still Life On Fire
8 Scout
9 Young Leo
10 True
11 Same Hearts
12 Outro (Everything)

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