Music Review of a Mouthful by the Do
“The Do” are a French two-piece or duo indie band based in Paris. The Do were formed in 2007 and they are Dan Levy (Musician) and Olivia Merilahti (Vocals). Their music covers a wide variety of genres that include indie rock, indie pop, folk rock and a bit of electronic stuffs.
A Mouthful has an album appetizer that everyone of us will definitely give at least a thumb-up to it. In “Playground Hustle”, a group of children cover most of the singing part while Olivia just adds in some extra weights here and there. The music in this track is exceptional as well. The flute on Playground Hustle reminds me of my younger days when i had to learn flute-playing in school. The music which is mainly contributed by synthesizers also creates a very good opener impression here. Love the cheeky part where it almost sounds like the movie “Jaw” theme.
“At Last!” is groovy indie pop tune which showcases the Olivia’s vocals. She seems to be singing breathlessly and without taking a jiffy just to inhale. The tempo on this track is very consistent and The Do/Dø also bring in some extra sound or note to make it much fuller. But just by listening to Olivia’s angelic voice, it’s more than sufficient to fall in love with this track. After the second chorus, “Made up my mind now it’s time settle down, but don’t hold this against me I gotta run now…” The short bridge contains some clever guitar playing and country-like harmonica layered with Olivia’s melodic voice. It’s just beautiful! At Last!
“On My Shoulders” continues the amazing rhythm and sound of The Do/Dø. On My Shoulders has quite a long opening before emerging with Olivia’s beautiful voice. As Olivia sings on in the verse, it sort of drags me along and thus creating a tendency for me to sing. “Why would I carry such a weight on my shoulders? Why do I always help you carry your boulders? You wonder why I carry such a weight on my shoulders?…” Although On My Shoulders is sung in a repetition of musical note and tone, but The Do/Dø make it really unforgettable. The rhythm just keeps playing in my head now, and it’s stuck in my head!
“Song For Lovers” is an acoustic track with only Olivia’s voice can be heard and in the background, guitar plays along before another string instrument violin appears. In the end, Olivia sings with emotion, “Here’s a song for lovers who don’t care if they bleed…” An honest and heartfelt track by The Do/Dø!
“The Bridge Is Broken” has little guitar steps in the beginning. Once Olivia enters, it sets the right tone and rhythm that follow suit. After the verse, Olivia just repeats “The bridge is broken…” and while she is singing the chorus, the deep guitar plucking never stops. It just weights in after the Olivia’s voice. Very, very nice to hear! At times, the music shows some Jazzy side of it. In the bridge, the music comes in with more variety. The mixing of The Bridge Is Broken really good, and the use of synthesizers and other equipments just prove to be amazing! I don’t care whether the bridge is broken or whatever, as long as The Do/Dø are here to sing, the bridge is always fixed.
“Stay (Just A Little Bit More)” is cheeky and catchy. Just the perfect song for couples anywhere in the world. You have to check out the guitar once it starts, it is on a constant plucking mode and never fails to create an atmosphere that one would expect when picnicking at the beach. Once the chorus comes, Olivia just goes, “Stay just a little bit more, don’t let my heart turn sore…” and with each phrase, there would be howlings in the background that just complement this track so much! Entering the second verse, the whole track seems to be venturing into a new zone and it sounds cuter than ever. During the bridge, violin is heard and joins the fun with The Do/Dø. Stay (Just A Little Bit More) just sounds good from start to finish!
On “Unissasi Laulelet”, if i’m not mistaken, it’s a track sung in Finnish by Olivia. As Olivia sings on, it seems that there are some background vocals that sing simultaneously with Olivia. Further into the track, the music just get fuller and louder. Even the vocals got louder and slightly subside before ending. Quite funny when listening to a foreign language. But it’s still good.
“Tammie” starts off with harmonica and some distant shout in the background. Once the right tempo is reached, a number of instruments just come in. Guitar, bass, drums and handclaps can be heard as Olivia sings. In each phrase of the verse, Olivia sings and drags the last word until she reaches a part where she loops, “Oh i know you won’t…” The bass in this track is very groovy and some might have it catchy as well. At some points, the word “Tammie” can be heard in the background, shouted by a number of guys. Saxophone can also be found here as the song draws to a close. Cool stuff by The Do/Dø!
“Queen Dot Kong” features a heavy usage of synthesizers. It also has saxophone and trumpet at some parts of the track. After a few listens, this song sounds like a theme song for a cartoon show. It’s very cute yet weird with those sudden change of music notes and tones. Even the vocals vary as well, sometimes it’s fast, sometimes it’s slow. Olivia also raps at times, which i find kind of cute to imagine her doing so. The Do/Dø are definitely loosing themselves here.
“Coda” is an instrumental track and it continues from Queen Dot Kong. It sort of acts as the final part of the song and helps the song to end. The Do/Dø can be heard playing with the synthesizer and mixer here. A break for The Do/Dø perhaps.
“Searching Gold” is the longest track on A Mouthful and it spins over 5 minutes long. It has some dark and evil elements to it as Olivia sings in a way that doesn’t reflect her usual voice that we first heard. Take it from the title, everyone has himself or herself on mind when it comes to gold and will do whatever it takes to get their hands on gold. Maybe it’s one of the clues that we have that might helps us explain Olivia’s voice here. The music in Searching Gold is pretty flat here and i like the ending lyrics that goes, “As the horizon cleared, we let go of our hands, each one hurried to be the first where gold flows out, oh silent rejoicing when one of us stumbled, oh silent rejoicing when one of us failed…” Sort of sarcastic by The Do/Dø here!
“When Was I Last Home?” is a slow track that has piano as its main instrument. Olivia just sings with her heart and let it taken away by the music. This time around, Olivia is proving how versatile she is by showcasing her beautiful voice on this somewhat sad track. Deeper into the track, there are some background vocals and violin also can be heard helping Olivia out. The Do/Dø are showing an emotional side of them. Great effort anyway!
“Travel Light” starts off with some lazy and draggy vocals by Olivia. Even the music sounds the same here, it just feels lazily good. However when it comes to the chorus, Olivia sounds lighter in her voice and goes, “Lately I’ve been walking away, floating like a song in the air… Lately, I’ve been trailing away, I’ve been walking my way…” And when back into the verse, everything is back to what we first heard in the first verse. Another slow track here, which i think The Do/Dø are not that good at doing this. The Do/Dø are way much better when doing a fast track. They’re born to do that!
“Aha” definitely brings the tempo back here. Once the music starts, i know this song is going to rev up the album again. As Olivia sings, “It came up on a day I was having a nap, it came up on a day I was catching the gnats, it was a trap…. Aha, Aha, Aha….” You can hear a group of guys in the background helping Olivia out. Slowly when it gets to the chorus, the guitar sounds like a plucking from a James Bond theme. The bass throughout this track is outstanding as well, it just has the groove to liven up the track. The bridge also has its moment, where a group of female vocals can be heard belting it out with Olivia. The bottom line is that Olivia is back with her angelic vocals! Love it!
“In My Box” is an instrumental track that has a steady beginning before picking up the tempo and hitting it high as the song draws to an end. It sounds like an African-influenced music at first and then when the bass line comes in, it just gets groovy. Olivia is not calling it a day yet as she also contributes a bit with her voice. She sort of yells here though. Pretty cool ending by The Do/Dø!