Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.


With the Sun, Punchline, and others. Saturday, July 12, at the Agora Theatre.

In some circles, Mae already has two strikes against it: a Jesus-centric label (Tooth & Nail) and a first-class emo pedigree born of road trips with the likes of Piebald, Copeland, and the Starting Line. Yet the cuddly keyboards and doe-eyed riffs on the Norfolk, Virginia quintet's 2003 debut album, Destination: Beautiful deserve a better fate than stale stereotypes. Such tunes as "This Time Is the Last Time" and "Goodbye, Goodnight" possess the summery jangle of Reckoning-era R.E.M., while "Embers and Envelopes" and "All Deliberate Speed" shimmer with hooks as sugary and malleable as taffy.

Dave Gimenez's equally dulcet vocals conjure the conspiratorial tone of Dashboard Confessional, the peppy enthusiasm of Jimmy Eat World's Jim Adkins, and the wistful gushing of Joe Pernice, giving lilting song-poems about the usual love and regret a velvet touch. Mae's lyrics, simultaneously secular and spiritual, and their unabashedly earnest choruses closely resemble those of another band often misunderstood during its infancy -- U2. Like the best parts of the Irish rockers' early 1980s output, Beautiful's emotion is innocent and pure, lacking artifice, but brimming with irresistible sentiment.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Speaking of Previews

Latest in Livewire

More by Annie Zaleski

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 17, 2021

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Jeff Blanchard @ Bogey's Comedy Club

    • Fri., Nov. 26
  • French Perspectives @ Severance Hall

    • Fri., Nov. 26
  • Christopher Titus @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Fri., Nov. 26

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation