"I think I talk to you best when I sing" Manchester Orchestra frontman Andy Hull confesses on the last track of Mean Everything To Nothing, following it up with "I sing about almost everything." Though, on the new release, he sings `about almost everything' surrounding God and his Christianity. Luckily, there are love songs, drug songs, and morbid songs that are ambiguous enough to apply to all facets of life, not just religion.
In true Manchester Orchestra fashion, there are a wide mix of acoustic songs, rock songs, and seemingly a cappella portions of songs. They embody the spirit of Indie Rock music without the hipster tag that goes along with bands like Modest Mouse and Arcade Fire, among others. Many songs have a very powerful bridge, and this is achieved by dissociating completely with the previous vibe of the song. For instance, on "Shake It Out," the song is mostly distorted guitars and splashing symbols until the bridge, where the instruments drown out and leave Andy and his guitar whispering the lyrics. Another favorite song is "I Can Feel a Hot One," where Andy portrays a distorted reality between drug-use, helplessness, and accidents with ambulances;
"I was in the front seat, shaking it out
And I was asking if you felt alright.
I never want to hear the truth; I want to hear your voice.
It sounded fine."
Manchester lie pretty evenly between the mainstream and the underground, and surprisingly have stayed true to that mantra on their most recent release. If one is a fan of Manchester's Like A Virgin Losing a Child release, then the new album is a shoo-in, though it may attract new fans as well. Similarly with ILAVLAC, there is no real radio-friendly track on the album, but overall a very substantial album that begs the question when we will see the potential of Manchester Orchestra fully realized.