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Mean Everything To Nothing

Mean Everything To Nothing

17 Apr 2009
4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Digital Booklet: Mean Everything To Nothing
Digital Booklet: Mean Everything To Nothing
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By The Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 Dec. 2009
Format: Audio CD
First things first. Manchester Orchestra do not come from Manchester.
They hail from Atlanta, Georgia, USA and we must not hold this against them.

'Mean Everything To Me' is their second album release and shows a higher
degree ofpolish than their 2006 debut 'I'm Like A Virgin Losing A Child',
partly due to Joe Chiccarelli and Dan Hannon's vivid production but also
to an evident growth in their own songwriting and performance skills.
('Wolves At Night' on the first album was none-the-less a great song of course!!)

The band are : Andy Hull/writer, voice and guitar; Robert McDowell/lead guitar;
Jonathan Corley/bass; Jeremiah Edmond/drums and Chris Freeman/keyboards.
Together they have pulled eleven fine numbers (12 counting the "hidden" track)
out of the bag and deserve pats on backs all round for their solid ensemble effort.

'The Only One' kicks things off in fine style. Slippery guitar, a nice loose snare drum,
cheap and cheerful organ and a raucous cracked and craggy vocal from Mr Hull.

Mr Edmond's drums are a consistently energetic presence throughout the project.
He drives things along splendidly on 'Shake It Out'.

'In My Teeth' is another fine composition. The contrast between the open structure
of the verses and the blistering cacophony of the chorus works especially well.

'I Can Feel A Hot One' is a lovely song. Melancholy in the nicest way. Mr Hull shows
that he can hold a melody with convincing finesse. Oliver Kraus' discreet cello
contribution is the icing on a strangely beautiful cake.

'My Friend Marcus' is a curiously sad tale with a big, dense anthemic chorus.
Crashing chords, wild harmonies and an ambiguously spiky ending.
Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
"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.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It has to be said. I've heard this album hundreds of times now, its played on repeat all the time. It's my favorite album. I love music and this album always makes me smile. It's just beautiful. Andy Hull is an amazing song writter and performer.

From the opening riff on 'the only one' through to the epic sounds of 'the river' this album is a journey. I think the album needs to be heard as a whole, it just doesn't work as individual songs and I think this is what was intended by the band. So go buy the album and set aside 56 minutes, a good set of headphones and lose yourself in this masterpiece.
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Format: Audio CD
A friend recommended this back in 2008 and it's been on my regular playlist ever since - after my initial disappointment that they are not from Manchester UK, nor indeed are they an Orchestra (sic) I found it's just a really honest album - great songs, melodies. It's one of those albums that if I haven't listened to in a while, I HAVE to listen to it to get my fix. I'd also recommend GroupLove - Never Trust a Happy Song for another great album probably shamefully unlistened to by vast hordes of people . . .
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Southern-fried grunge is not (yet) a genre, yet Manchester Orchestra have made it one. On a record much bigger and louder than the debut, Atlanta's second finest (behind Black Lips) blend Nirvana's gravel, with the Kings of Leon and the various guises of Connor Oberst's nasal holler, all to engaging effect. The accompanying guitars rock purposefully to recall all of the former but with a dash of Weezer. Oberst's incarnation as Desaparecidos is as useful a reference as his Bright Eyes and solo work, see the bonus track for a carbon copy of his Bright Eyes sessions, for example.

`I Can Feel A Hot One' is more in line with a sentimental Kings of Leon tearjerker, said Oberst on plumbing duty; elsewhere the merest hint of emo-rock allows these tears to flow more freely. Hull positively cries the vocal on `The River' and the title track's name is squarely and ambiguously emo but for absent parentheses.

Despite a couple of late plodders like the awfully named `Tony The Tiger' and the title track, `Mean Everything To Nothing' has a commendable energy and an ear for American (though Americana would also be acceptable), commercial rock and pulls it off with a style not heard since the Hold Steady's Stay Positive. If you are thinking 'Titus Andronicus' at this point, you wouldn't be far wrong. As an album, it might mean everything to nothing now, but this album deserves to mean something to quite a few in the near future.
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