Midnight’s Mirror

Hubble primary

The primary mirror of the Hubble space telescope.

We are very nearly at the end of another year and, indeed, another decade. What better time, then, to look back and take stock. With a big space telescope, like the Hubble, we can see billions of years into the past … but I don’t have that kind of chronological mirror so let’s just return to midnight with the Mystery Jets and see what is reflected in their highly polished looking glass.

But for a spelling mistake by their front man, Blaine Harrison, the Mystery Jets would have been called the Misery Jets, which suggests a certain melancholy outlook on life. That would be misleading, though. The band’s music is at the pop end of indie rock, a comfortably long way from the dark gravitational pull of Joy Division and their ilk.

Among their influences Mystery Jets have cited Hall and OatesPink Floyd and King Crimson, while their guitarist adds Robert Fripp, Adrian Belew, Jimi Hendrix and David Bowie as his personal inspirations. That’s a list that carries unqualified approval by Crotchety Man. And occasional collaborations with Laura Marling only add to the respect the band commands here.

early band

The Jets from a bygone era.

According to Wikipedia the Mystery Jets style shifted from prog towards pop with their second album, Twenty One; Allmusic, however, says that their fifth album, Curve of the Earth, marks a move in the opposite direction. The Crotchety Forensic Laboratory hasn’t been able to examine enough samples to confirm or deny either of those claims. Suffice it to say that several of the tracks from Curve of the Earth sparkle like cut glass baubles bouncing reflected moonbeams across a black velvet sky. Midnight’s Mirror is one of those.

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