Album Reviews

Everything Everything – Man Alive

(Geffen) UK release date: 30 August 2010

When it comes to a group likeEverything Everything, being taken aback is par for the course. Theirtight, falsetto-ed sound is unlike anything else out there today – well, apart from Animal Collective in places. Theirs is the sort of music likely to lead fellow musicians to ask themselves: “Why didn’t I think of that?”

Everything Everything aren’t even just for show and their album wasn’t a formulated, calculated attempt to stir up some new scene.They emerge from Manchester with a debut album to their name in the sameyear as neighbours�Delphic and�HURTS, but their sound couldn’t be further removed from either. And why should everything sound the same just because it originated from the same city in northern England, after all?

Sporting successful singles, re-recorded demos and sparkling newefforts, it’s a debut album that should displease no-one.Production aligns with the band’s erratic character, beginning with arampant opening trio of songs likely to leave you flabbergasted. The old-fashioned joke that Everything Everything live up totheir name in every respect won’t be going away any time soon. Thisis a unique listen.

The slick giant that is My KZ Yr BF opens the album with unrivalledconfidence, the worthy high-speed-car-chase soundtrack Qwerty Fingerand the frighteningly inventive Schoolin’ following. That’s thelistener won over right there. The opening precedes a more diversetwo-thirds, blending tenderness and subtleties with�unabashed,full-frontal pop.

Jonathan Everything’s vocals switch gloriously from 90 decibelheights to softer hues. His Mancunian-tinged falsettodictates the altering pace, varying between the vulnerable Leave TheEngine Room to the jerky eccentricity of Photoshop Handsome. As theband ceremoniously walk amongst R&B, acapella and synth pop,Jonathan sounds comfortable within any surroundings.

The variety on show is one thing. But most impressive is the band’sability to cross genres in the space of one song; Schoolin’ begins as acandidate for future Justin Timberlake hit before scatteringits parts into a�cacophonous, sweetly-sung jewel, its previous melodydisposed of.

Inevitably, this all leads to an incohesive mess, to someextent. There’s the naivety that strikes many a band when recording adebut album of such energy and experimentation. It’s comparable toLate Of The Pier‘s�debut�Fantasy Black Channel; a lot on showbut with hints of greater�achievement. But Man Alive is astep up from that. It could well be their masterpiece; theirscatterbrained work of art.

Should everything (everything) go according to plan, Man Alive will cause ashift in the ground. Whilst an abolition of N-Dubzmight be too much to ask for, there’s every chance that post-2010 hitswill have a�rejuvenated�feel to them. If however – and this is themore likely of the two – Everything Everything fail to break thehigher ranks of the charts, they’ll embed themselves as a cultphenomenon�with this debut.

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More on Everything Everything
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Everything Everything @ Brixton Academy, London
Everything Everything – Get To Heaven
Everything Everything @ Academy 2, Manchester