Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Everything Everything: Man Alive

Released in 2010, Everything Everything has been the focus of critical acclaim for years ever since the release of their first two singles "Suffragette Suffragette" and "Photoshop Handsome". Critically, the album did pretty well, especially among BBC and NME (both helped hype the band immensely); Pitchfork, however, gave the album a very low score. And I guess that really goes to show that this is a type of music that you either love or you hate. Between rapid key changes, shifting tempos, and rapid-fire lyrics that take a scientist to decipher, Everything Everything might be exactly the kind of "original music" that you are looking for. Or it could just be annoying as hell. There seems to be no middle ground on this album.

The strongest part of this album are the singles. "My Kz, Ur Bf", "Schoolin", "Photoshop Handsome", and "Suffragette Suffragette". They're all here and they're just as fantastic as I remember the first time I heard them. If you're interested in just exactly what Everything Everything is (or at least an idea), I suggest listening to the singles on youtube, and then giving the album a go.
1. My Kz, Ur Bf
The opening track (read "My Keys, Your Boyfriend") might just be the very best one. The album begins with a long ring followed by a short, calm introduction by lead singer Jonathan Higgs. Then with a bang, keyboards come in from all directions and you'll then you'll truly realize that the voice is just as much an instrument as a guitar, keyboard, or drums.
2. Qwerty Finger
Most of this song has a very driving rock feel to it, with sort of call-and-response vocals behind it. I absolutely love the back-and-forth nature of this song, specifically the tempo changes.
3. Schoolin'
The first half of this song has a fairly steady beat with rapid vocals behind it and in the second half, the style of the song changes completely (except for the bassline, which doesn't change much). Even though Jonathan sings faster than usual, the lyrics are easier to hear (though I still don't understand them). The keyboard melodies in this song are great. They put a lot of work into making a really good beat here.
4. Leave the Engine Room
Higgs shows off his falsetto voice in this song. There's not a whole lot to say about this song, no rapid tempo or key changes or anything like that.
5. Final Form
Just recently became a single, Final Form seems to be the polar opposite of Qwerty Finger. The whole song is very flowing and has a heavy emphasis on chords and harmony than driving riffs. As the song goes on, it just gets better and better, especially towards the end. Higgs's shouting: "Your home/Your head/Take form" just fits the song beautifully.
6. Photoshop Handsome
This is not the single version. This version of the song puts more emphasis on guitars than keyboards. I like the single much more, but this is still a great tune. By looking at the name, its not hard to see how its pretty much impossible to sing this song without at least smiling.
7. Two for Nero
After the craziness of Photoshop Handsome ends, we have Two for Nero, which is a huge change of pace, but the lyrics are just as outrageous as ever "Tell me why you came here/squatting like a Game Gear/like Sega never died/We met inside a war zone/ you said let's fuck the ozone/but boy, that hole's too wide". Yes. Melodically, there's not much to say about the first half, but the second half is better: its more flowing and harmonious.
8. Suffragette Suffragette
Their first single contains just about everything that makes Everything Everything what it is: Everything. Changing tempos, flowing harmony, and strong vocals. This song is also the pretty much the focal point of all controversy in EE fandom. What is he saying in the chorus? "Who's gonna sit on your...face? fence?"
9. Come Alive Diana
Rock album filler if you ask me. I really like the chorus and the trumpet solo, but other than that, there's not much to say.
10. NASA is on Your Side
It sounds like he's saying "naser", but anyway, it takes a while for this song to get going, but Higgs's shouting vocals really work in the chorus.
11. Tin (The Manhole)
Again, falsetto vocals are featured here, but from here on out, the album starts to "wind down". There's a keyboard riff continuously playing through the song, but that's pretty much it. This song seems to have the least Everything Everything "feel" to it. So I like it the least.
12. Weights
I think Weights is Tin (The Manhole) done right. It takes just a tiny bit of inspiration from each track and puts into a very nicely executed ending to the album. It takes a while to get going, but that's pretty much the point; it gradually adds more and more to it until the chanting of "I know how it ends" starts.

Anyway, I like it. Half of the album (the singles plus a few songs) is very very good and the other half does a decent job despite there being a couple songs that I usually skip over. Sorry about the delay folks, I said I'd get this done on Sunday, but I've got a lot going on this week. Luckily I should be back on track by Saturday with a nice big video game series review. Next week, I'm thinking of doing an American band, not really any DEEP stuff, just good ol' fashioned jams. See you then

Rating: 7.1

17 comments:

  1. Actually never heard of them, looking them up now..

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  2. These guys are fucking brilliant.

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  3. i've only heard of them, never listened to any of their songs. i should.

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  4. That doesn't look like my cup of tea, but hell I might try it, just because of this post

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  5. Good review, I'm going to check the album out.

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  6. Oooooo, new music I've never heard of. I'll definitely check it out tomorrow.

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  7. great band and review
    keep posting

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  8. Huh...I might have to go look in on this.

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  9. I love the song by song review

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  10. never heard of them but ill check them out. thanks for the recommendation :)

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  11. Just checked out some of their stuff on YT...thanks for the find.

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