Review: Mister & ialive Unite for Brief Thoughts on the Mundane Throughout ‘Sounds of Pets’

Mister © Gabby Baginski
Mister © Gabby Baginski
Like all of us, ialive and MC Mister are passing time any way they can while life remains on pause. Their new collaborative EP ‘Sounds of Pets’ confirms the mundane.
Stream: ‘Sounds of Pets’ – Mister, ialive


Sounds of Pets – Mister, ialive
Sounds of Pets – Mister, ialive

Quarantine as an overarching theme has forced humanity to recognize certain idiosyncrasies in our daily lives. On a small scale, watching the sun set or listening to the leaves rustle in the distance are soothing remedies for troubling times. We as a society are also making grander observations far beyond the confines of our home. Only now are we participating in a substantial uprising against our country’s brutal police infrastructure rooted in centuries of racism and disproportionate brutality. We find ourselves re-evaluating certain outdated philosophies as time continues to slow down.

Released July 10th, MC Mister and ialive’s newest three-track EP is Sounds of Pets, a brief venture into the mundane as life remains unpredictable. Much like the Philly producer’s I’ll Wait Forever project from earlier this year, ialive provides a forum for daily doldrum meditations, even as a buzzing electric guitar dictates the flow of the intro track “Damn Buddy.” Mister creates a notable dichotomy between the inherent happiness of the sun rising and the harrowing thoughts that always seem to distract from this natural euphoria. No matter the context, nighttime is the antithesis to any prior comfort. In one sense, Mister illustrates a typical human being morphing into some insidious werewolf. The entire sound could soundtrack Ari Aster’s next film.

i live for the nightfall, i live for the night
the days are a haze of motion & light
i’m open to change — try as i might,
there’s nothing as quite as good as the night

As an old-school spitter, the Detroit MC very rarely leaves much to be desired. He’s always been pretty direct in his oddball approach to ordinary themes. While Sounds of Pets easily pertains to human emotions, the EP specifically focuses on the “pet” element. “I don’t talk to too many people these days, but I still talk to my pets a lot,” stated Mister when describing the album’s inspiration. He’s confidently blunt when providing listeners with an animal’s perspective, but it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise considering this is the same guy who blessed us with “The Condiment Trilogy.”

If you look at the EP from the pet perspective, you’d realize that Mister is searching outside of the human element for any type of catharsis. ialive’s funky bass-line on “Racecar” is the driving force for Mister’s direct solitary confinement. They pinpoint the overall mood of the tape and our world at large. Thirsting for a light at the end of the tunnel before the aliens actually come down to save us.

The bells on “Otto + Vegas” are equal parts ominous and mysterious. The instrumental leaves listeners hanging on a thread as Mister spits an ode to the connection two of his closest pets had between each other. “I remember seeing Otto’s personality shift when Vegas died,” Mister said. His statement is simultaneously discreet and transparently frank, kind of like the majority of this short EP. This is what Otto must have been thinking when he lost his greatest companion.

i’m still waiting
to step outside and see you
under blue sky, we can pursue life anew
but it doesn’t feel like anytime soon…

One thing many of us fail to understand is that every organism is linked to some degree. Animals have emotions like we do, even if they’re not directly involved with the COVID-19 pandemic. Plants live and die like a human being. Day and night usually governs our mood. These are obvious observations that only come to fruition when the world stops. From a personal standpoint, Sound of Pets is a direct reflection of Mister’s quarantine escapades; as well as a reminder to think outside the box.

:: stream/purchase Sounds of Pets here ::

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Sounds of Pets – Mister, ialive

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? © Gabby Baginski

Sounds of Pets

an EP by Mister & ialive

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