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Man Alive Single

4.4 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (30 Aug. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Single
  • Label: Geffen
  • ASIN: B0036ORISO
  • Other Editions: Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,187 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

Drawing on influences from the Beach Boys to post punk, pop to dance, Man Alive is the debut album from Everything Everything--an indie rock band who aim to sound like no one else. Man Alive includes the singles "Schoolin'" and "MY KZ, UR BF".

BBC Review

“I was making music in my bedroom [during my childhood]. My one rule was not to sound like anyone else.” Judging by his band’s debut album, lead singer Jonathan Higgs rarely had to send himself to the naughty step.

For while you might detect an occasional Yeasayer bass noodle or lei-wearing Vampire Weekend riff, this Manchester quartet flee from any identikit indie clique, throwing ever-changing, protean sonic shapes. They career between time signatures, changing keys and genres – often within bars, let alone songs – as they playfully elude categorisation.

Telling of teenage terrorists, war, homicidal lovers and the human condition, they leap and crackle, Jonathan’s voice a frenetic falsetto bounding like a Labrador on speed, to twisted brass fanfares or military stomps that challenge you to dance then trip you up. They grow wistful and sing in sync to a line of Baroque harpsichord (Two for Nero), or, on Schoolin’, drag you through as much terrain (pop, electro, jazz, funk, prog… and, er, whistling) as the most self-indulgent of Yes epics – but without the soporific effect.

Even on the relatively simple QWERTY Finger, which has an innocuous handclap-and-drums opening, they give us a rushing euphonic mash-up of scaling synths and chasing vocals, before turning and returning, pausing midway for an anthemic break, complete with yelping. Yet this track not only sounds coherent, it’s glorious – despite the fact that here, as on much of Man Alive, the boys seem to be stuck in the surreal environs of semi-consciousness, where Lewis Carroll is king. It’s a place where lyrics such as “So how will they remember us whole when we turn into salt / And it's mine, the fault, mine the dream, and the vein, home of whale-flesh, make soap out of it!” apparently make sense.

Whether they’re talking a load of gibber, spewing poetic profundities or playing auditory jokes (the criminally catchy chorus of Suffragette Suffragette demands a double take) it doesn’t really matter; it merely adds to their quirky brilliance. And it is brilliance. EE are wilfully eccentric, and endlessly entertaining, but they know more than most how to craft a song, how to make an album. They know how to give it depth, light and dark, and they – crucially – know when to stop. Give it a month or two, and the EE wannabes will start to queue up. Luckily for this band, soundalikes are not an option.

--Alix Buscovic

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: MP3 Download
I first heard Everything Everything at the BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend in Carlisle where I was totally blown away by the bands unique sound. The band seamlessly combines a number genres to come up with this absolute masterpiece. This album was a breath of fresh air in my music collection with excellent tracks such as the interestingly named "MY KZ, UR BF" and "Schoolin". Admittedly the slightly quirky lead vocals from Jonathan Higgs may not be for everyone, but I for one am absolutely in love with this band. The songs are catchy, the instrumental work is amazing, this is a flawless album that I cannot stop listening to.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
I came to this album via 'Arc'. Based on the reviews I had read I expected it to be a little raw, a little hit-and-miss, so I took a few weeks getting round to giving it a listen. Oh dear, a few weeks of life wasted there. Within one track (the excellent opening track, 'My Kz Ur Bf') I had already hit Discogs to snap up one of the scarse vinyl copies of Man Alive for the price of a small house. It's that good. Barely in the last ten years have I repeat-played an album so much. There isn't one track here which I don't love. Some are more immediate than others but just as you grow acustomed to them, a new favourite springs up.
The production is crisp and punchy. The songs are catchy. The musicianship is top drawer and, as is the band's hallmark, the range of influences is so varied as to make them avoid a direct comparrison with anybody. I will avoid going through the tracks one by one and describing them and who they may sound a bit like, if anybody. Music is a subjective thing but I will say that this album is truly great and if they release one of it's equal in their entire career, then I will be greedily lapping it up. A far superior album to Arc I would say. Eleven out of ten.
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Format: Audio CD
An album full of ideas and tricks; some of which score, some hit the post. The vocal style and octave jumps can grate a little but there is little else not to like about this musically diverse and nicely constructed suite of songs. Lots of Yes-style layers of guitar and keyboard with some truly glorious moments. Far more intelligent than your average indy-punk, this is a surprisingly mature and polished offer.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It is very rare for me to be inspired by a new band these days, with so many clone bands around churning out the same boring riffs, the same boring production and sound, the same predictable timing and structure. But not with Everthing Everything. I am so glad I stumbled across their Man Alive CD.

I was already utterly blown away with MY KZ, UR BF, and now listening to the rest of the tracks on the album I continue to be very impressed indeed. The production is great, the sound canvas is great, the vocals great. A very well crafted album indeed.

If its true that lead singer Jonathan Higgs said he didnt want to sound like anyone else, then he can pat himself on the back for a damn good attempt.

Anyone looking for something fresh, interesting, entertaining and captivating, then Man Alive will not disappoint.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I got into this band via their excellent new (2nd) album Arc and I couldn't wait to get their first album - my minor disappointment with what I initially perceived to be an inferior work to Arc (albeit understandably inferior because of the latter's excellence and the fact that it pre-dates Arc by more than two years) has now been replaced after repeated listens by admiration for what is perhaps an even better, and certainly more consistent, collection than Arc - true it is not as immediate and there are no pinnacles quite as high as the sublime Duet (3mins 41sec of genius) on the new record although Come Alive Diana comes close, but these are simply 12 great great pop songs - to get an idea of the progression between the two albums you should maybe think of The Bends vs OK Computer but bear in mind those were Radiohead's 2nd and 3rd albums not their 1st and 2nd! These guys have been making brilliant music from the get go! This is truly an outstanding band and I just hope we don't have to wait another two years before their third!
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Format: Audio CD
Everything Everything have got a lot to prove it seems, swearing blindly that their style is not comparable to other synth pop acts, that they are showing people the way forward. After diving deep into the album, I'm inclined to agree. Opening track 'MY KZ, UR BF' is a euphoric clash of spicy synths and clever rhythms all circling around lead singer Johnathan's almost rap-like falsetto vocals - spat out at such a rate that it's enough to make you want to learn the words over and over just for the pride of being able to sing along. As the tracks reel past, catchiness is the name of the game, every instrument and texture being used to deadly effect against the toe-tapping synapse of the brain (which may or may not exist.) The lyrics are, at first glance, a rather surreal collection of throw away phrases aimed at nobody in particular - "You say that I'm an overlord/I've got myself a fire hydrant/With more tyrant/In watery blasts than all of my past!" and their purpose seems little more than to compliment the jittering muted guitar lines and snapping snare beats. And yet, that doesn't matter, the vibe that Man Alive creates is one of light heartedness and fooling around. If EE really are trying to break away from the confines of the synth pop clichés, it sounds like they did it by accident. "What have you done with me father?/Why does he look like a carving?" Johnathan wails on 'Photoshop Handsome', giving away the bands rather playful sense of humour whilst having a dig at our perfectionist society. Every track is like a bluebottle shooting around the room, changing direction and speed over and over, whilst politely giving the guy with the fly spray the finger. Not taking yourself too seriously...now there's a trait nearly every band could learn something from.Read more ›
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