The Naked And Famous are a rock band from New Zealand, and this is their debut album Passive Me, Aggressive You. They have already achieved a place in the history books by becoming the first New Zealand band to top the New Zealand charts in three years with single Young Blood.
The album begins with All Of This, a song that introduces the listener to a reverb heavy, synth infused lovechild of The Big Pink, MGMT, and Yeasayer, with electric drums and yet another sound misplaced in the wrong decade. The duet vocals from Alisa Xayalith and Thom Powers creates a suitably low registered collaborative voice that fits with the slightly too steadily built up tempo, which is then reached with an anti-climatic eruption of sound that is as impressive as a puff of smoke.
Single Young Blood captures every accessible element of pop music, the grand theatrics, the simple verses, the over the top vocals, and the increasingly annoying “yeah yeah yeah” hook which gets repeated by everyone in the world. But what makes the chorus particularly cumbersome is its heavy reverb, which not only makes it sound grand and dramatic, but it also makes it sound like it’s an inspirational saying, as if teenagers everywhere are going to break out of their shells and discover their individuality.
A lot of the tracks attempt to be relatable to listeners, but the over the top clean atmosphere and forced sentimental emotions only detract it further from becoming an ‘escape’ which the band often proclaim in Young Blood, Punching In A Dream and many other tracks here. The only audience that could see this album as an escape is the characters in Skins, which ironically enough featured Young Blood in one of its episodes, as they lead an extreme life of drugs, sex, and being fucking lame.