Manchester Orchestra
Fourteen Years Of Excellence


3.5
great

Review

by Mike Allen USER (107 Reviews)
November 25th, 2009 | 17 replies | 9,889 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: With the outstanding "Mean Everything to Nothing" released this year, this bonus EP is basically hinting, "I know I'm not what you need, but it's okay with me."

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

EP’s are albums that fans often have mixed feelings about. They are often teases, including possibly four or five great tracks that leave the listener wanting more. After waiting for several years for a new record, EP’s are frustrating due to the fact that they aren’t full-length. In the case of “Fourteen Years of Excellence” however, Manchester Orchestra fans received an added bonus. This four-track bonus EP is a very solid record, offering three b-sides and an alternative version of Shake it Out. “Fourteen Years of Excellent” offers an utter contrast to the noisy and upbeat “Mean Everything to Nothing,” for it is mostly acoustic and laid-back. Andy Hull’s songwriting however, is very much the same, for one out of the three b-sides wouldn’t be out of place on the full length record.

The acoustic trend is delivered by opener Anne Louise, which is a sparse sounding piece with catastrophic lyrics. Hull is calm and heartbroken, singing “And I swear to god that I'll avenge your dead, with the best lawyers of auto-politics. And I'll spend whatever money's to be spend to try and revive your broken body again.” Hull does show a glimpse of hope here however, with “And I hope to god that you’ll remember me in heaven.” Following track It’s Ok With Me pursues the same path, but is much more sentimental and beautiful than its predecessor. In fact, It’s Ok With Me isn’t a far cry from “Mean Everything to Nothing’s” I Can Feel a Hot One, its passion and lyrical theme is quite heartrending. Hull is apologetic and reluctant, “I know I’m not what you need, but it’s okay with me.” Electric guitars make a rare appearance here, the arpeggiated chords create rather a pristine ambiance.

The second half of “Fourteen Years of Excellence” propels this short EP to a fitting close; Do You Really Like Being Alone is a fully acoustic track, only accompanied by Hull’s sharp vocals. Hull seems to be speaking to himself in this song, basically saying that he needs to solve his own problems. “Do you really like being alone? Wouldn’t blame you if you went back home and got an actual job.” The alternative version of “Mean Everything to Nothing’s” Shake it Out is a lounge account of the actual song, driven by acoustic guitars and almost whispered vocals. Despite the differences, this adaptation is quite enjoyable and even picks up halfway through only to settle back down again.

Manchester Orchestra’s bonus EP to their 2009 release is a solid one, and has one track in particular that should not be overlooked. Both “Fourteen Years of Excellence” and “Mean Everything to Nothing” are indications that the band is growing, and will continue to release outstanding material.

Check out at least:
It’s Ok With Me
Shake it Out (Alternative Version)



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user ratings (57)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
EVedder27
November 25th 2009



6088 Comments


Didn't have a review so I attempted it. Seems a bit tbtish for my own liking.

Gyromania
November 25th 2009



14644 Comments


pos, good review

Skimaskcheck
November 25th 2009



2360 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, i really wanted to hear this, even more so now!

EVedder27
November 25th 2009



6088 Comments


Thanks guys, Skimaskcheck at least try to listen to It's Ok With Me. I think it should have been on Mean Everything to Nothing.

tombits
November 26th 2009



3463 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"Shake It Out" and "It's Okay With Me" are really good... the others not so much.

EVedder27
November 26th 2009



6088 Comments


Yeah, I mean since It's an EP those songs pretty much give it the 3.5 for me.

natey
November 26th 2009



4170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nice review

Kashmir09
November 26th 2009



772 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review, 'tis a pretty tasty EP, It's Ok With Me is one of my favorite Manchester songs

EVedder27
November 26th 2009



6088 Comments


Thanks, I really think that if It's Ok With Me and other tracks like I Can Feel a Hot One were on METN it would be a 5.

Skimaskcheck
December 1st 2009



2360 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is reallllly good! But Do You Really Like Being Alone lets this down for me.

It's Ok With Me though; wow.

EVedder27
December 1st 2009



6088 Comments


we still run around like there's no better wayyyy, and i don't stay


Kashmir09
December 11th 2009



772 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I've begun to notice that I nearly prefer their b-sides. They just have a different sound all together (see their other ep too). It almost has a Brand New vibe on their b-sides with is 'okay with me' ha

Deathcar
November 8th 2010



1534 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album sounds like the missing link between MO and Andy Hull's solo stuff. I actually prefer this version of Shake It Out to the album one.

MrCalum
November 9th 2010



371 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Indecisive on whether to give this a 4 or a 4.5. I was taking a look at the lyrics though and they pretty amazing, Andy can't write bad lyrics at all. Really enjoyed the alternate version of shake it out and tragic Anne Louise.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
November 3rd 2011



20799 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Coming free with the purchase of the band's LP 'Mean Everything to Nothing', 4 track EP 'Fourteen Years Of Excellence' is another solid release from prolific Atlantan outfit Manchester Orchestra. Whereas the full-length was very much a rocking showcase for the entire band, this predominantly acoustic collection of B-sides prefers to emphasize the undoubted talents of front-man Andy Hull. It's a mixed bag though, with 'It's Ok With Me' and the mellower alternate version of 'Shake It Out' clearly being superior to the remaining duo.

EaglesBecomeVultures
February 11th 2013



5049 Comments


lol @ this being called fourteen years of excellence

Digging: School of Language - Old Fears

ABjordanMM
December 6th 2013



1290 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

lolz not funny. andy hull is perfect.

Digging: Manchester Orchestra - Cope



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