Everything Everything - Arc | Elusive Little Comments

After breaking into mainstream success and receiving a Mercury Prize nomination for debut Man Alive Manchurian four piece Everything Everything return with Arc. With the release of the fantastic single Cough Cough prior, have these guys done Everything Everything they can to prevent the dreaded Second Album Syndrome?

Cough Cough opens the album to a strong start with its quirky infectious groove complete with little touches like the vocal cough sample used to humanise the drum beat, and the every so slightly sarcastic tone behind the vocals. This track still remains a fun and enjoyable listen even after hearing it when it was first released.

It’s clear with second track Kemosabe that the band have toned down the eccentricities and proceeded to make music with a more direct, mature sound. This track features a pretty straight forward beat and is just a nice little package of pure pop bliss. It’s enjoyable, but it just lacks a little too much of that Everything Everything personality.

There’s also a couple hard hitting ballad-like tracks featured on Arc. Torso Of The Week definitely slows down the pace of the record with barely-present instrumentation during the verse that slowly builds up before erupting into a guitar-heavy chorus which really knocks the listener on their head.

These guys have done a great job at making their material sound huge with the production. Tracks such as Duet and Undrowned feature such huge anthemic moments that it’s impossible not to be a little captivated by it. Unfortunately by this point of the record the constant balladry pretty much drags it down to a halt, getting rid of the up tempo hype created by Cough Cough and Kemosabe, and after some promising intros in Armourland Everything Everything decide to stretch this emotion out for the duration of the record.

Arc is a solid listen full of great tracks but the only way to realise that is to individually check them out. Most of the material on this new album follows the same attitude of trying to tug at your heartstrings and after the third song it begins to wear pretty thin. If Everything Everything had produced some extra fast-tempo tracks like the opening two then Arc would have been a much varied and better album for it. I like that they’ve gone a bit mature with attitude and sound, but they’ve definitely tried too hard to prove that to everyone with this album.

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