Review Summary: You Me At Six are back with a new release but the only expectations it will live up to are those of 14-year-old girls.
3 of 3 thought this review was well written
Over a year ago I reviewed this British Pop Punk bands debut album. I remember saying that their next release wouldn't bring much more than simple reminders of Take Off Your Colours. After listening to the album for the last few days I have concluded that I was right. However, You Me At Six have slightly adjusted themselves to the point where they seem to sit comfortably with their style. It's no real improvement, but it does make for an easier listen. With their gaining popularity since the release of the debut, there's a lot expected from their fans and no doubt their hardcore fans (mainly 14 year old British girls) are guaranteed to be happy with this release.
The album has everything you would expect from a standard Pop-Punk release. It has the catchy choruses, the less than creative guitar riffs, the bass guitar that makes a subtle appearance now and again and the mediocre drumming. The vocals have always been one of You Me At Six's strong points, and it's great to see that vocalist Josh Franceschi has improved with this record. Although it seems that You Me At Six have have fallen into and I doubt they ever break this new habit, is that it can be hard to tell one song from another, and when bands go like that, it's hard to come out of it. Many of songs can seem boring and there are only a few highlight points where it feels like this record is going somewhere. Songs like 'Stay With Me' and 'Fireworks' seem to be set aside from the rest of the album, showing off You Me At Six's potential that still awaits to be unleashed.
The lyrics are centred around the break-up of lead singer Josh and his girlfriend in the past year, and as much as it adds a bit more emotion and feeling into some of the songs, hearing references to it in every single song makes it an overall tiring listen. There doesn't seem to be much more depth to his lyrics than the whole she-broke-up-with-me-it-sucks-but-maybe-it's-for-the-best sort of thing here. It's also a shame to see that You Me At Six have lost their 'fun' side with this release. No longer are their lyrics upbeat and occasionally serious, but instead, they are typically depressing, only disguised by upbeat pop-punk riffs; a forumla which has been done a million and one times in recent years.
Like every band should do with any album they write, You Me At Six have tried to progress themselves with these songs but all that is shown is a bland attempt at writing something with feeling and unfortunately for them, Josh's heartbreak is holding this band down (excuse the pun). Although the album does have it's good points, they are few and far between. Sometimes clever lyrics pop up such as "Three little words, and eight letters late, that would have worked on me yesterday" (Fireworks), but are then killed by sub-par and failed attempts at being clever with lines like "You're not on my list of things to do because I've already done you" (Playing The Blame Game). Sometimes the guitars stand out, but it's rare and only seem to appear in the intro's of the songs on Hold Me Down.
It's a shame that they couldn't pursue what they were onto with the highlights there, because it might have just dragged this album out of the cliche pop-punk trend it has fallen directly into. I'm afraid I still have to stand by my opinion that these guys won't make it much further than they already have and I believe that it could be all downhill from here, but who knows, maybe that unleashed potential will be released in the form of their next album, on second thought, maybe not.
Gee, didn't know these guys were popular enough to get 2 reviews on the day of the album release.
And what's with all the hate... Geez. No, this is not better than their debut, but there are some improvements. As mentioned above, the vocals have improved, while the beefier music is more mainstream rock than pop-punk.
You Me At Six
Hold Me Down
( 4.5 / 5.0 )
Noticeable immediately, You Me At Six have matured and expanded their sound since Take Off Your Colours. The band, who seemed to hit the U.S. hard overnight during '09, have returned with another great record that is more forward and hardened than before. The opening track, “The Consequence”, is swimming with a new found attitude, as is a good portion of Hold Me Down. Each track offers something worth hearing, whether it be the cool and collected approach of “Playing The Blame Game” , the highly energized “Hard To Swallow”, or the broken-heart honesty of “Safer To Hate Her”. While not every track will go down as a hit, the majority of Hold Me Down excels where needed. Too bad this album isn't available stateside until Spring time. (www.myspace.com/youmeatsix)
This album sucks. We already know that you give everything a 4.5 / 5, plus why would it even matter that you're posting a review on someone else's review. Put it in a soundoff so you're not walloftexting us to death please and thank you.
I have to strongly disagree with the rating. I find the lyrics though not emotionally groundbreaking as far as sheer poetics at
least clever and drive the point home. the music is well constructed and the lead singers vocal range has improved tremendously.
strikes me more of alternative rock in most songs than pop punk this time around though.
to add: after me and my friend discussed it after listening to the album once more, they are actually maturing and I think for
these young girl fans or what have you of the past release see failure in that because they only care about the catchiness of
these bands and not attempts at unique depth. Josh's voice has such raw dynamics on this album that the music succeeds in
highlighting where as they merely coasted along on mediocrity from the last release and they truly throw out musical
arrangements, sections, bridges, that other pop punk bands would be to chicken and ill quipped to even pull off. I think this
album really does set itself apart in a very progressive way from the cliche they could have become if they released the same
album twice and I just find it stronger and more diverse than the last record. I do believe they will go somewhere because of
this in light of the realization they have much more to offer than others to break the mold. I guess the album just struck me as
brilliant because I just view this as a display of skill I assume they didn't have possess. really good review though I might add.
Maybe its an album that just has to grow on people like it did me.