Aside from breakout singles “Cough Syrup” and “My Body,” Young the Giant’s 2010 debut album was far from noteworthy. The commercial indie sound had its spotlight on the radio but failed to impress elsewhere. In their sophomore album, “Mind Over Matter,” the Southern Californian band finally seems to have found its voice. If you’re looking for a follow–up to radio–friendly “My Body,” you might not be satisfied. No more predictable song progressions or catchy choruses. While standout track “Crystallized” is both pleasant and accessible, the album's true merit is in its more intimate moments, like in “Camera.” With jazz influences and introspective lyrics, “Mind Over Matter” brings singer Sameer Ghadia’s silvery vocals to the forefront. The album’s shift to more synth driven sound and varied musical structures attests to the band’s maturation.

Grade: B+

Download: “Paralysis”

Sounds best when: enjoying la grosse matinee on a snow day


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