This doesn't quite fit the title of "late to the party" because Mates of State have been a favorite since sometime in 2004 (which actually was two albums late to the party but no one is keeping score). For the purposes of this project, we'll file them under "just getting around to it now." Or "just in case YOU missed it." Elitist, I know. Mates of State are out promoting (something like) their fourth LP, re-arrange us. It's not just good. It might be the album of the year.
Saying things like this always freaks people out when you've still got four months to go, a Coldplay record from back in June, and Lil Wayne's album just crushing kids. It's hard to get anyone to buy into Mates of State with just two people, mostly known for their cloying attitude (ugh! they're sooooo married) and one-dimensional sound (drums, keys .... not a lot else). But don't forget the Tegan and Sara record really snuck up on people last year.
Same idea, a concept band that unconceptualized itself, grew sonically, and ended up transcending their formerly overwrought selves . Tegan and Sara got sick of being written off as a lesbian pop band. So they wrote The Con and crushed everyone. Re-arrange us is almost that same record. Mates Of State aren't just married and their arrangements aren't just organ and drums. The album is sneaky good and actually, forget that, this album is good good. This is the record of the year. So far.
Listen :: Mates of State - My Only Offer