15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Versatile, melodic, challenging, satisfying,
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This review is from: Arc (Audio CD)
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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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 21 Jan 2013 21:52:43 GMT
Red on Black says:
Good review - well done. I loved the first album and must try this.
In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jan 2013 21:55:20 GMT
John Tierney says:
Thanks Red on Black. I think this is even better - the first 7 tracks on this new album are stunning. Hope you like it.
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