Music Reviews

“Will Leave You Absolutely Captivated” -Album Review: Years & Years – ‘Night Call’

Gemma Cockrell

With their debut ‘Communion’ stacked with hits including King, Shine, Eyes Shut and Desire, it’s no secret that ‘Palo Santo’ didn’t land quite as well commercially, except for album highlight If You’re Over Me. However, the build up to ‘Night Call’ seemed much more promising, with the singles Starstruck, Crave and Sweet Talker, the latter being a collaboration with Galantis, quickly becoming some of my favourite Years & Years songs to date.

Olly Alexander may no longer have the backing or involvement of former bandmates Mikey Goldsworthy and Emre Türkmen, but from the direction the singles appeared to be heading in, it seemed he was doing just fine steering the ship solo. Thankfully, the album continues in this same direction. Album opener Consequences is an upbeat dance anthem, leaving no doubt about it: Alexander knows exactly how to get the party started.

Alexander uses the lyrics to make his stance clear

The slower moments of ‘Night Call’ definitely don’t disappoint either. Intimacy is our first taste of the more mellow and laidback side to the album, appearing in the first half of the tracklist. Alexander uses the lyrics to make his stance clear on casual relationships, with the soft, twinkling synths throughout the instrumental filling the track with an ethereal magic, enhanced by the beautiful tone of his vocals.

The chorus of Sooner Or Later is similarly dreamy and synth-driven, and the falsetto vocals of the following track 20 Minutes and the rippling synths of Make It Out Alive will leave you absolutely captivated. These are the tracks that best capture the metaphorical side to the overarching concept behind the record: the mysterious call of an otherworldly but non-threatening entity that comes from somewhere deep in the ocean, far beyond the human realm, in the depths of the night.

The closing track of the deluxe edition, Reflection, might not quite equal their energy

Following the last track of the standard edition of the album, See You Again, the first two deluxe tracks Immaculate and Muscle are some of the most upbeat on the entire record, despite not appearing on the standard edition. Whilst the closing track of the deluxe edition, Reflection, might not quite equal their energy, it has a pulsing dance beat throughout and serves as a middle ground between dance anthem and hypnotising ballad. 

This summarises perhaps the best element of ‘Night Call’: the fact that Alexander has brought forward his catchiest and most irresistible dance anthems alongside his most enchanting and heartfelt moments, and combined them into his best body of work thus far. ‘Night Call’ is the product of an artist who has found his voice, found his sound, and is basking in the glory of reaching his full potential.

Gemma Cockrell

Featured image courtesy of Alex Watkin. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.

In-article image courtesy of @yearsandyears via No changes were made to this image.

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