Personnel: Justin Meldal-Johnsen (percussion, programming); Carlos de la Garza (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Rich Costey.
Recording information: Chez JMJ; Music Friends Studio, Los Angeles, CA; Sunset Sound Studios.
Photographer: David Vincent Wolf.
On their hotly anticipated sophomore album, Mind Over Matter, Orange County modern rockers Young the Giant skate even closer toward the big-budget glitz their 2011 debut promised. Propelled by the success of their breakout hit, "Cough Syrup," they've made the jump to Warner subsidiary Fueled by Ramen, home to acts like Panic! At the Disco and Paramore, a seemingly more relatable roster than at their former home, the metal-centric Roadrunner Records. For Mind Over Matter, producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen has amped up the group's chiming, angular riffs and compressed the shimmering synths to present an able, straightforward modern indie rock record. Songs like the lead single "It's About Time" and "In My Home" aim to please, offering a heavier guitar rock sound than on their debut. The music is well played and the songs dynamic for the type of mainstream guitar/synth rock Young the Giant pursue. Comparisons to stadium-filling bands like Coldplay and Phoenix are not out of line and the album offers a nice diversity between hard-driving rock and thoughtful synth pop. Young the Giant are at their best on some of the album's lighter cuts. "Firelight" pairs a beautifully haunting melody over a subtle blend of fingerpicked electric guitars and the glimmering midtempo pop of "Waves" glows with melody and charm. They've found an emotionally engaging formula that will continue to appeal to fans of their debut. ~ Timothy Monger
Rolling Stone - 3 stars out of 5 -- "When they nail the postmodern smash-up thing, it's explosive, inventive rock..."