Published Oct 31, 2014When it comes to collaborations, Mouse on Mars have always been game. Over the past 20 years, the celebrated German duo have worked with indie stalwarts like Stereolab, Oval and the Fall's Mark E. Smith. To celebrate two decades since the release of their debut, Mouse on Mars have unleashed their collaboration supreme: 21 Again, a 30-track album that features 21 collaborations and nine musical interludes from friends, acquaintances and fans.
Bringing in past and current collaborators Modeselektor, Dodo NKishi and Oval, along with former Stereolab members Tim Gane and Joe Dilworth (as Cavern of Anti-Matter) and Laetitia Sadier, much of 21 Again feels lovingly familiar. Although tracks like "Shoe Fly" (with Tortoise), "Splymogym" (with Scratch Pet Land) and "Putty Tart" (with Junior Boys) gleefully find Mouse on Mars exploring jazz, electrofunk and R&B, 21 Again is often stifled by aimless spoken-word interludes that almost hinder repeat listening. 21 Again marks a unique approach that works better when treated as a new celebration than as a commemoration of the past. (Monkeytown)