Marc Hogan’s review of “Sing Along to Songs You Don’t Know” by Mum


Band: Mum

Album: Sing Along to Songs You Don’t Know

Critic: Marc Hogan

Publication: Pitchfork, 2009

Writing Disorders: Ambiguity Sickness, Jargon Palsy

Longest Sentence: 66 Words

Biggest WTF Moment: “It’d almost definitely be making a geyser out of a lyrical plankton-fart to observe that the world’s most famous carpenter also happened to be the world’s most famous recruiter of fishermen.”




Marc, this review was dense. Hard to read. Heavy on the adjectives. You don’t start off well:


“But uhh, few bands outside 1980s bedsit-indie circles would be better suited to rep the Beatitudes’ “blessed are the meek” rap than Múm.”


Jesus, Dennis Miller, what the HELL are you talking about? I feel like I need a sextant just to read your review. I’m sure you’d disagree, but “easy to understand” isn’t such a horrible thing to be labeled as a writer.


But you spent nearly as much time waffling as you did scribbling out your leaden nonsense. I’m tempted to address you as Mr. Indecision from here on out:


“Mum’s fifth album starts off kind of like…”

“it’s a bit of a slog on a purely musical level”

“it’d almost definitely be making”

“it’s enough to make me half-wonder”


Look, get off the fence and have an opinion. If you feel like you can’t form one, then listen to the album again or even once more after that. The band’s the one that put in most of the effort. All you have to do is type an opinion of it. The least you can do is be sure of what’s going on inside your own head before pissing your pants because you don’t know whether to steal second or stay on first.  Or if you’re unsure of what you think, maybe you could just leave out the gigantic metaphors so that people who don’t read Joyce on the regular can understand what you’re getting at.


“You might hear a music box being wound up, or an acoustic guitar string buzzing imperfectly, or what seems to be a didgeridoo.”


Hahaha, “what seems to be.” Come on man, it’s clear you know EXACTLY what a didgeridoo sounds like, “entirely,” you might say:


“it’s an entirely peaceful, largely melancholy, and clearly well-meaning record”


What’s a “well-meaning record,” Marc? Is it one that doesn’t mean to incite looting, rape, and sin? Or is it a record that the band sincerely didn’t intend, but just couldn’t avoid making? One that you, one six-billionth of the globe, didn’t particularly care for?


And…my final burning question. What made you give this album a 3.9 instead of a 4? Maybe if that didgeridoo sounded a smidgen more like a didgeridoo?