Everything Everything have produced a fantastic album, using some of the better elements of their past albums while adding some modern synth beats and some excellent new ideas to create an entertaining but slightly drawn-out album. Alex Tearle reviews.
This record feels like an excellent continuation of Everything Everything’s style. Though not quite as trendsetting as ‘Get To Heaven’, the band take the sweeping synths of ‘RE-ANIMATOR’ and combine them with a ‘poppier’ style to make an album that I thoroughly enjoyed, despite a couple of glaring imperfections. This record feels incredibly endearing, with the band noting it was, “the first album made entirely under our own steam”, a showcase of how talented the band clearly are and how far they’ve come since 2007.
Some fantastically bizarre computer sound effects form an excellent backing
This album has some real innovation. It is a really great development of their sound that still holds the same energy and charm Everything Everything are known for. Some brilliant staccato style lyrics in Bad Friday are an excellent departure from the tried and tested indie synth pop, and some fantastically bizarre computer sound effects form an excellent backing throughout the record, a real treat. Vocalist Jonathon Higgs made these sound effects from inputting literature (including Beowulf), forum comments and other internet posts into an AI program, making some truly unique beats a human would never even consider. This background makes for a charming record, oozing with character and musical innovation, something the band should be really proud of.
Even the simpler pop numbers like Pizza Boy and My Computer have a surprising amount of depth, with the former featuring a fantastic bass section and gorgeous synth beats, and the latter featuring some great lyrical depth. It’s impossible not to love charming lines like, “you’re in love with the future, but I don’t know why”, with the imagery making the track feel as if even the lyrics were written by an emotionally distant computer – a great nod to the clear 80s technological influences.
The album has some real stand out tracks here too, with the exceptional and memorable Jennifer, the sweeping and almost orchestral Leviathan, the slower keyboard filled Metroland Is Burning and the poppy and fast paced I Want A Love Like This, creating an exceptional track list. Jennifer in particular is really standout, a perfect example of an Everything Everything song, with an excellent guitar section, biting lyrics and a gorgeous fade out, an absolutely perfect track that summarises the record well.
These highlights are particularly interesting due to their completely different styles; every track feels at home in this album, but each is almost completely different in style and tone, a real accolade that argues this record is the band’s most varied and accomplished project yet.
A strange amalgamation of drum and bass and indie pop
There are some pitfalls on the album though. ‘Raw Data Feel’ drags on a little too long to feel truly perfect, with songs like Shark Week feeling as if they should have been left on the cutting room floor, rather than featuring in the main album. This track in particular uses a very simple drum machine background, a unique pop influence that unfortunately feels a little too out of left field to feature alongside bizarre lyrics like, “He’s a cabbage like me / He’s Obama in the streets, / but he thinks he’s Osama in the sheets” – a strange amalgamation of drum and bass and indie pop that really doesn’t feel nearly as successful as the other songs on the album. This is particularly irritating as the bassline here is really satisfying, but it just doesn’t feel as nearly as well written as the rest of the record.
The vocal style is also quite ‘marmite’ in the album. Long time fans will love tracks like Cut UP! with a style of lyrics very similar to Distant Past or Blast Doors, but newer listeners may find the repeated “hmm” and “mhmm” slightly too strange to be enjoyable. Humorously, these sections actually sound a lot like Master Yoda, especially as the song repeatedly mentions a “master” – a real oversight that should really have been picked up on earlier.
This record, though slightly flawed, might overtake ‘Get To Heaven’ as my favourite Everything Everything album. The band would be the first to admit the record is, “weird”, but this project is a well written, beautifully mixed and feels like a really cohesive and strong package. Though some songs are quite weak, ‘Raw Data Feel’ showcases the very best of Everything Everything and should not be missed.
Featured image courtesy of Alex Watkin. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.
In-article images courtesy of @e_e_ via @instagram.com. No changes were made to these images.
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