Album Review: Of Monsters and Men 'Beneath the Skin'

Empty Lighthouse is a reader-supported site. This article may contain affiliate links to Amazon and other sites. We earn a commission on purchases made through these links.

The five-piece indie pop band from Iceland, Of Monsters and Men, have come out with their second studio album, "Beneath the Skin."

The band's first album, "My Head is An Animal," produced hits like "Dirty Paw" and "Little Talks." Four years later, "Beneath the Skin" is a powerful sound that compares human traits with the nature around us.

The album starts off with "Crystals," a song that is charged with the brass beating of drums and the chorus is chanted more than sang, but it leaves more of an impact and creates a powerful beginning to the album.

"Human," the second song on the album is a mix animal metaphors but ultimately they just want the human side to come out on top. "Hunger" is a slower song than the first two.

It still has those thundering drums but the guitar and the somber voice of lead singer, Nanna Bryndis Hilmarsdottir, make for a calmer sound.

"Empire," is a very uplifting song. It describes a wild destruction of nature but that it can also wash away everything until you can create what you want to. "Slow Life," the longest song on an album full of songs of decent length. It uses its length to continually build and break, like the ebb and flow of the ocean.

It creates a dream-like sound, paired with lyrics about the deeper thoughts on life. "Organs," is a song about being too tired of a situation to care about it anymore.

The piano and vocalist work together for the melancholy sound that just make the lyrics more resonant.

"Thousand Eyes" does the gradual growth beautifully. It starts with simple piano and grows with drums until it's just a minute of an instrumental equivalent to that feel of dread. The combination of drums and piano always work wonderfully with Nanna's voice.

The beginning of "I of The Storm" is no different. Song message is basically the same as the others on the album, being controlled by a strong emotion. "We Sink" rounds out the album as the last song.

"Beneath the Skin," has very pretty quality that most indie pop has to it's sound.

It stays true to the bands first album, while also growing and improving in all the right ways. If you were a fan of the last album, even casually, you will not be disappointed by their sophomore album.