Manchester Orchestra
I'm Like a Virgin Losing a Child


4.0
excellent

Review

by TopFiveRecords USER (3 Reviews)
May 23rd, 2008 | 15 replies | 2,958 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Underneath a seemingly unoriginal musical endeavor is raw emotion and skillfully crafted drama to be admired from a young and upcoming act.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

At the surface, Manchester Orchestra's "I'm Like a Virgin Losing a Child" is merely a second-rate recycling of Death Cab for Cutie's "Translanticism." Same synthesizer-laden indie anthems about emotion. At face value we have a decent record worth a 2 or 3 out of 5.

But I like to look past the obvious. Looking back at the recent Rock-and-Roll Folklore, there are plenty of bands that lacked true ingenuity--even musical talent--and were still able to set themselves apart as some of the most important rock and roll bands ever. Look at the Sex Pistols. Their act was already done fifty times over by the Ramones, Black Flag, The Stooges, and the like. The music made by their countrymen (that is, the likes of The Who, The Stones, Led Zeppelin) was still being held up as the epitome of rock and roll. The Pistols' "Nevermind the Bollocks" was nothing more than mediocre punk. So why did they stand out?

Because they possessed an intangible, defiant edge to their music and persona that defined the punk generation of the 70's and 80's. It lay deep beneath the thumbs up/thumbs down of consumer concerns and made itself apparent only to the dedicated listener.

So now you're asking yourself, "How in the hell is he going to compare a measly indie act like Manchester Orchestra to punk gods like the Pistols?" Manchester Orchestra has that extra intangible on "Virgin" that requires an acute ear. It isn't the defiant edge of the Pistols, but the palpable emotion that exists behind the trendy indie musicianship.

It starts with the wavering vocals and mind-bending lyrics of Andy Hull. His voice is honest and expressive, and very truly reflects the mood of each song. He can bounce along with songs like "I Heard the Neighborhood Was Bleeding" and "Wolves at Night." When he whispers "I can feel your pain...deep in my bones," we believe him wholeheartedly. When he screams "Oh my God, where have you been?", we want to tell him. For what it lacks in range and strength, Hull's voice does wonders for the record as a whole, offering a different potent dramatic element with each track.

The other part of Manchester Orchestra's intangible set-apart quality is their musical arrangement. Mainly, in the stop-start quality of tracks like "Golden Ticket" with soft, slow verses and defeated vocals suddenly, almost shockingly jumping to a heavy, catchy riff in the chorus. Coupled with the aforementioned dramatic element brought by Hull's voice, it makes for an exciting sonic roller coaster. Songs like the closing track "Colly Strings" bring us on the same roller coaster in a different way. The soft, humble, almost ambient first half of the song is the ascent. Before the freefall, we can hear the hydraulics hiss. As Hull whispers "don't release me/ until its over" we throw our hands in the air as we plummet downward into the song's final climax. These and other songs bring us back and forth through all different emotions, and do so impressively.

If you listen to this album once, it deserves a 2 out of 5. I believe that those with the right discerning ears can appreciate not only what makes this album great, but what makes this band so promising.


user ratings (668)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Mike Allen (4)
Just wait....don't goooo...

Adam Knott EMERITUS (4)
With a heavy heart and looking straight at you with cutting eyes, Virgin is a thoroughly worthwhile ...

Ben Greenbank (2)
Machester Orchestra's debut is more a who's-who of the major indie rock bands of the last fifteen ye...


Comments:Add a Comment 
natey
May 2nd 2009



4170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

hot damn tracks like "Sleeper 1972" are killer live and "Where Have You Been?" as a closer was fucking incredible, complete with fellow bands raping the guitarist in their underwear

Ryce
June 6th 2009



81 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I Can Barely Breathe was my favorite. Just nice, simple, pretty music that's loads of fun to sing along with - alone, or with friends.

Kashmir09
September 28th 2009



772 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Colly Strings is immense. Tough to close an album better than that heart wrenching tune. Underrated disc

Skimaskcheck
October 27th 2009



2360 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Wow, only three comments on this?

Seriously amazing album, definately rivals METN.

Knott-
Emeritus
November 10th 2009



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i think i like this better than METN.

Kiran
Emeritus
November 10th 2009



6000 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I Can Barely Breathe is my tied-favourite Manchester Orchestra song with I Can Feel A Hot One but this album is too inconsistent as compared to Mean Everything To Nothing

Douglas
November 10th 2009



9056 Comments


nah

Kiran
Emeritus
November 10th 2009



6000 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

riveting discussion

Douglas
November 10th 2009



9056 Comments


Sorry that was at Strikey.

Knott-
Emeritus
November 10th 2009



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i think this is REALLY consistent. it changes direction more frequently from song to song and is less of a consistent SOUND but the quality is consistent as fuck.

Kiran
Emeritus
November 10th 2009



6000 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

you're forgiven dougie

When I still listened to this album, long, long ago, I ended up finding myself coming back to individual songs and skipping a lot of the, in my opinion, weaker tracks. I find the last 4 completely forgettable altogether.

Knott-
Emeritus
November 10th 2009



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Listen to Collie Strings again. Please?

Knott-
Emeritus
November 10th 2009



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

In fact, the whole last 4 songs! It'll take you 20 mins :p

Kiran
Emeritus
November 10th 2009



6000 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

only because you said please

Athom
Staff Reviewer
November 10th 2009



17196 Comments


for me it's Mean Everything To Nothing>Nobody Sings Anymore>This



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