Forgoing the makeup and costumes, Mudvayne has made
the decision to strip themselves down to the bare elements,
creating an album that's conceptually simpler and far more
straightforward. While I can fully get behind the fact that
I'm sure they're tired of wearing the crazy outfits, the stripping
down of character seems to have left them musically, well,
The album opens with Determined, a powerful, hammering
track that feels stripped straight from an early 90's Pantera
album. Generally, when I make these kind of written connections,
they're usually underlying and even inferred, but in this
instance, the connection is so strong, it's rather hard to
avoid. The second track, Pushing Through, is a more
thrashing track that feels less borrowed from other sources.
The vocals are bitter - roaring angrily at the listener. Happy?
is obviously a radio-friendly effort, filled with softer,
kinder vocals and more low-key melodies. The song obviously
panders to the MTV crowd, so much so that it's likely to churn
the stomach of most people who liked the band previously.
And like Jekyll and Hyde, the album severely shifts gears
with IMN, a powerfully thrashing track that takes some
time to build to its more powerful chords. IMN features
some of the more esoteric moments of the album, with off-kilter
bass lines reminiscent of L.D.50.
This is followed by Fall Into Sleep, yet another radio-friendly
track that kills any momentum the previous track had built.
Rain. Sun. Gone. is a more moody track, bouncing between
powerful metal and more low-tone interludes. This song rolls
right into the lengthy opus of Choices, a strong effort
that features harmonic vocals that actually work to the benefit
of the song. While I fault some of the more radio-friendly
efforts earlier in the album, the harmony of this track seems
to work just right.
Forget to Remember is a pretty by-the-numbers song
that proves to be a bit boring. Honestly, it sounds like pretty
much like any other "wanna-be" rock act. This is followed
by TV Radio, which is even more tedious in delivery.
Just tries to shake things up by offering more powerful
drum beats and trashing guitar tracks, but without much in
the way of intrigue, it proves to be the more metal buffer
between pop-rock tracks. This is followed by All That You
Are, a moody up-tempo ballad that has moments of anger
and power. Sadly enough, the final track, Pulling The String,
is one of the more interesting as it offers both interesting
bass and guitar lines along with a shifting tempo.
Make no mistake - the songwriting and performance isn't bad
by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, if you want a
pure rock/metal album that makes little effort to be unique
in a genre glut with "me too" bands, then Lost and Found
is your cup of tea. It lacks the variety and willingness to
experiment that L.D.50 had, and because of that, feels
far less interesting. Too much of the album feels watered
down in an effort to be more MTV-friendly, and because of
this, Mudvanye loses what made them so interesting.