Mrs. Green Apple – Attitude

5 out of 5

Label: EMI

Produced by:

2018’s Ensemble showed Mrs. Green Apple fully having graduated from their mix of emo punk and ballads into something more “mature,” which necessitated a whole bunch of genre flimflammery – elements of swing, jazz, hip-hop, and etcetera.  The group’s chops as a unit helped to keep this all cohesive and mostly enjoyable, although there was still the ultimate bid to dabble in boy band territory with some sappy bits, and some of the experimentation was very much “of its time” (i.e. dubstep) and thus rather dated now.

Attitude takes that evolution a step further by both shedding all that excess and then bringing some flourish back in, but this time in the form of elements fully integrated into the group’s backbone: a sharp, peppy, fast-paced pop-rock style which has produced their most enjoyable tracks across their career.  In fact, swirl all of their singles of this format onto one, 17-track release, and that’s Attitude, with enough album-awareness to mix up the tone track to track so that some moments are playful, some are rocking, some are epic, and then you can even sneak a good ballad in there when it’s rightfully sandwiched between louder bits.

For interested listeners – like me – who came to MGA thanks to a single from this album (Inferno, featured on Fire Force), this is the disc that doesn’t make that track seem like a lucky one-off; rather, it’s backed up by 15 other equally damned catchy songs that hit just as hard with punky drums, riff-happy guitar licks, keys, and Motoki Omori’s wonderfully varied and strong vocals.  The production is also on point for the presentation, ditching the overly electronic tone that pared off the group’s edge on prior discs and allowing them to seem more like a “live” act, despite there being plenty of studio work fleshing this thing out, and making ‘Attitude’ stick-in-yer-head memorable and fun enough to deserve instant replays.