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  • Arc
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4.5 out of 5 stars66
4.5 out of 5 stars
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I am really digging this CD. Not normally a fan of Radio 1 but last summer I heard the first single from the album, Cough Cough, being played a few times and was instantly hooked. The band were interviewed and started riffing about their inspirations, rather than the usual 'my girl left me' or 'I really fancy so and so' they were blasting on about time, space and stepping outside of the universe.

Anyway, I wishlisted this CD and got it upon its release. I basically bought this blind, the only song I had heard was the Cough Cough single, so I was a bit worried that the rest of the CD would be filler rather than killer.

Wrong! The tracks are all so strong, they all shine and stand on their own two feet.

The music is so different, the lead singer sounds a bit like Chris Martin doing falsetto and singing about gym freaks and coiled hearts but its all good. However, rather than other 'different' music which can sometimes be a little inaccessible (I'm thinking Animal Collective, Maps etc.) this is different but immediately strikes a chord.

Even my wife and kids have been singing along, Kemosabe and Duet seem to be particular favourites. Family friendly is all to the good, when I play Neutral Milk Hotel I get chased out of the room and Hollywood Undead? Forget about it, too much cussing.

If you like good music that has been well produced check this out, complex but accessible, multi-layered and interesting, way better than the trailerloads of pap that is currently being shipped by the studios.

Utterly essential.
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VINE VOICEon 15 January 2013
This is an essential purchase if you liked Everything Everything's first album Man Alive. Building on that excellent debut, Arc feels more controlled, slightly more consistent and has some wonderful flowing, complicated but accessible tunes. You know you're being challenged when the first lyrics on the first track are "(Cough cough) Yeah.... (Cough cough) So.... (Cough cough) Um.... (Cough cough) Wait a second...." but don't worry - it's just Everthing Everthing messing with you right from the start.
Jonathan Higgs's typically falsetto voice lends a tenderness undercut with menace to twisting, challenging lyrics (you'll need them as you did for Man Alive). The first 7 tracks belt out finely crafted song after song, with a brief pause for the short, slight title track.
Nothing quite like the almost-commercial-but-too-clever-to-be Photoshop Handsome from Man Alive is here, although The Peaks is reminiscent of the stark beauty of NASA Is On Your Side (the best track from Man Alive for me).
Armourland, Choice Mountain, Duet and (the first single) Kemosabe jump out initially as wonderful exercises in writing and performing intelligent, non-conformist pop. Undrowned starts like a poem set to a nursery rhyme, but builds and builds. It all flows wonderfully and although this is written after only a few plays I think this will build to become one of those rare albums where you don't want to skip a track. This album, like its predecessor, almost hides the complexity and stream of consciousness lyrics, which are right out there and demand you to read along to the songs. Feet for Hands is both weird and joyful ("let's get up off the floor and use our feet for hands").
Everything Everything remind me of an XTC for this century in some ways - determined to do things their way and this they certainly do and succeed admirably.
If you like bland, production line, X-factor pop don't buy this. But if you like your music to challenge you, then look no further - you will reap the benefits amply. An excellent (but not difficult) second album.
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on 25 March 2013
Everything Everything's second album is absolutely great. Whilst the first album seemed like quite a mash up of different musical types and seemed very experimental, this album seems to show that the band have found their own sound and the songs seem more consistent. The quirky lyrics and upbeat music make for very catchy music, and as soon as the album finishes you'll want to start it again straight away. Brilliant album.
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on 25 January 2013
I thought they would find it hard to top the last album 'Man Alive', I'm now wondering if this could be their Magnum Opus. From minute one of listening I had my jaw open. I haven't been able to stop since I bought it is week.

It's melodically perfect, and instrumentally ethereal. The percussion and bass are outstanding.

The bass on 'Cough Cough', sounds so good as does the percussion, they make it an epic powerhouse of a song.

I adore 'Torso of the Week' and above all the harmonies on 'Justice', remind me of the harmonies on The Police's B-Side 'Friends'.

They are immensely talented and unique and they have excelled themselves, it's aurally spectacular.

Highly recommended.
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on 15 March 2013
One of my favourite albums of the past few years already, so many awesome tracks I cannot recommend this album enough!!!
Great production values, melodies and I just keep having to repeat some of the tracks as there so good....I've even had the wife ask who they are so must be good!
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on 22 February 2013
A brilliant album. I didn't think it was going to be possible to top the 1st one. All the influences are still there but the sound is maturing so to me they still end up sounding like nothing you have quite heard before. This 1st album only came out of the car when the second one was released. I never tire of listening to this band and I find something new in the songs each time I listen to them. Endlessly creative and full of real intelligence and craft. I cannot wait to hear more!

This band are fantastic live as well. Recent Cambridge Junction gig was simply amazing! Do not let this band pass you by!
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on 19 January 2013
Everything Everything have created another brilliant album. 'Arc' sees the lads pick up from where they left off on 'Man Alive'. Jonathan Higgs' vocals move pitch brilliantly, the beats are as complex as ever and the synths thick. It also sees the band writing even stronger songs and adding more experimentation to their music.

Singles 'Cough Cough' and 'Kemosabe' are the catchiest songs that the band has ever written. The former bounces through all kinds of sounds wonderfully and the latter is upbeat with great vocals. 'Torso Of The Week' and 'Radiant' are both very beautiful songs. The starkness of 'The Peaks' is marvelous being reminiscent of NASA from Man Alive and 'Choice Mountain' is very pleasant on the ears. Closer 'Don't Try' is simply fantastic. There's also some nice experimentation, 'Feet For Hands' is more acoustic based, 'The House Is Dust' is quiet and drifting, and 'Armourland' is very bouncy and dance like. My one complain is the fact that 'No Plan' is merely a B-Side as its a superb song and should be on the album.

Another really strong album from one of the most exiting bands around, while suggesting that the best is still yet to come.
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on 28 March 2013
I have to admit that this was my introduction to the band. After hearing Kemosabe a few times on the radio I used Shazam to find out the artist and bought the vinyl on the strength of one song alone.
I am not disappointed. It's a fine album, which in parts kind of reminds me of some old Peter Gabriel stuff, amongst a few other things. The music largely defies comparison though as there are so many influences mixed in here as to make it hard to pin down. There are some real stand out tunes, namely the three songs which have been selected for release as singles. This is an album I have played many times.
I will say this though, I bought 'Man Alive' on the strength of many reviews of this album, expecting a raw, hit and miss affair but though I like Arc, Man Alive is in a different league and one of the best rock albums of the last ten years IMHO. I cannot fathom why anybody could think that Arc is an improvement on that. I hope that when EE come to release their third album it more closely follows the production values and variety of their first release.
Arc is, though, still a decent album. Four stars
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on 16 January 2013
With this album, Dutch Uncles and Villagers all coming out this week I had the make the choice as to first listen and this was the choice. I have listened to the album three times now and all I can say is Wow! It's very difficult to describe - maybe there are shades of early Elbow and Field Music in there and from an earlier era Anthony Moore/More of Slapp Happy - but they definitely make their own music and this is as varied and catchy an album as any I have heard in the last year.
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on 4 April 2013
Haven't heard the first album so bought this based on the Q Magazine Review. To me it sounds like the 80's band 'It Bites' I like them so I do think that this album is very good but if you are familiar with It Bites you'll know what I mean
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