Reviews \

Mates of State, ‘Mountaintops’ (Barsuk)

Michael Tedder // September 13, 2011

Married duo Mates of State are in their second decade of refashioning Brill Building harmonies and new-wave wooziness into odes to domestic bliss. On their seventh album, they’ve now grown comfortable enough to cut down on the cute and flirt with new styles — “Total Serendipity” has a Motown shake worthy of Smokey Robinson. Mountaintops has plenty of upbeat romps, but the most compelling moments are the epic, minor-key laments “At Least I Have You” and “Unless I’m Led,” which argue that even the truest of loves can still feel lonely and miserable.