Review Summary: For now they're a good band, with a strong debut album but the future is unclear because of that.
When a band that have already established themselves with just their demo's decide to bring out their first album, there is bound to be mixed feelings. Die-hard fans worry that their favourite band are about to sell out and their critics are just dying for it to come out so they can write a load of articles about how much it sucks. On the other hand, you have the excited fans who are completely stoked about the fact that an album is finally coming out and they are ready to recieve it with open ears and an open mind.
When I heard about the release of Take Off Your Colours by You Me At Six, I was quite intrigued as to what the end result would be like, and after quite a few listens, I was highly impressed. At first I felt that they should've stuck to the demo arrangements of some of the song re-done for the album, but after listening to everything on the CD, I have come to the conclusion that the re-done versions actually fit in really well on this record.
It should be quite clear that You Me At Six have put all their energy and idea's into this album. The tracks seem to roll into eachother with ease but not in a way that you're not sure when one tracks ended and the other begins, in a way that it is an enjoyable listening experiance from start to finish. The lead single from the album, 'Jealous Minds Think Alike' is a catchy upbeat song, like most of their songs actually, but it does tire quite quickly. The other tiring song is 'Save it For The Bedroom', and as much fun it is when they play it at their gigs, it is harder to see what is so good about this song on record.
Also a highlight on this is their re-done versions of 'The Rumour' and 'You've Made Your Bed (So Sleep In It)'. They just show that the band have grown up alot since the demo's were done. Alot of fans were taken back on the album versions of the demo's, because they prove how the band have drifted further away from their roots. Take Off Your Colours also features the bands first ever recorded attempt at a ballad. 'Always Attract', said to feature Josh's sister on vocals with him, is something so far away from anything else on the album, and is the only song to feature any acoustic guitar, but You Me At Six manage to pull this one off perfectly, and they really seem in their comfort zone with this.
The guitars on this album are nothing special, but they get the job done and they stand out, but if you really listen to them, you'll see that the guitars don't separate them from any other pop-punk band around. The drums are often upbeat and to the point and the lyrics are sometimes witty but alot of the time, angsty.
As much as this is a good album, it's hard to see where the band could go from here. It may be a pessimistic opinion, but I cannot see the band writing anything else that won't remind me of a song from Take Off Your Colours. So what is next for You Me At Six? I reckon they'll be a hell of a lot of tours, some TV appearances, a few Kerrang awards, and then they'll quit. Or, they'll bring out another album that is nothing special or powerful. Whatever they do, it is pretty hard to see them at the top with album number 5 in a few years time.