You Me At Six
Hold Me Down


3.0
good

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
January 14th, 2010 | 66 replies | 19,903 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: English pop-punk… The way American teenagers like it.

Considering the universal popularity of pop-punk, it continues to amaze just how limited its production is confined to North America. In a genre that has arguably become a little stale, one would think that a fresher perspective would not only be a strength, but one which fans would welcome. The most likely band to take advantage of such an opportunity appeared to be English quintet You Me At Six, whose 2008 debut LP ‘Take Off Your Colours’ displayed maturity and potential beyond their teenage years, and had many looking forward with hopeful expectations to the group’s follow-up.

Unfortunately, it cannot be said that You Me At Six have fully capitalized on the opportunity presented to them on ‘Hold Me Down’, as the diversity and ambitious song structure evident on the second half of their debut is rarely seen here. Instead of concentrating on the songs themselves, it appears that they have looked to beef up their sound. Josh Franceschi’s vocals have clearly improved from the occasionally whiney attributes of his past, while the music on show has a much fuller sound. Unfortunately, all these improvements result in is a more generic Americanized feel that even verges on mainstream rock at times.

‘Hold Me Down’ is far from a total write-off however, since it actually begins and ends well. ‘The Consequence’ is an energetic rapid-fire opener complete with a gang vocal outro that is assisted by The Blackout’s Sean Smith. Lead single ‘Underdog’, ‘Playing the Blame Game’, ‘Contagious Chemistry’, ‘There’s No Such Thing as Accidental Infidelity’ and ‘Trophy Eyes’ are all catchy, carefree pop-punk cuts that overcome some dodgy lyrics, while ‘Fireworks’ presents an above-average soaring ballad to close the album well. The problem lies in the mid-section of ‘Hold Me Down’, which is littered with unmemorable (if competent) tracks that do not significantly distinguish themselves from any number of other bands in the genre. Why the band used stand-alone singles ‘Finders Keepers’ and ‘Kiss and Tell’ on the deluxe edition of their debut (released in mid-2009) instead of holding them back for this album boggles the mind.

While it is a touch unfair to expect a great deal from a band barely out of their teens, ‘Hold Me Down’ is a disappointing, if occasionally enjoyable, release. You Me At Six have clearly attempted to evolve and grow here, but the direction they have taken and the depth of song quality are both questionable. It all seems aimed at younger listeners and with the objective of gaining a larger fanbase, which ultimately places the band amongst the hundreds of other pop-punkers plying their trade across the Atlantic. Thankfully, the better songs still have a multitude of hooks to keep you singing along and there is nothing downright awful included. It is just hoped that next time around, these strengths can be coupled with greater imagination and ambition.

Recommended Tracks: The Consequence, There’s No Such Thing as Accidental Infidelity & Playing the Blame Game.



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user ratings (191)
Chart.
3.1
good
other reviews of this album
TH3FU (3.5)
Sweet, Stale And Stubborn....

Vikki Hall (2)
You Me At Six are back with a new release but the only expectations it will live up to are those of ...

adkymo (2.5)
You Me At Six have seen where they want to be, but sadly they just don’t know how to get there....


Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 14th 2010



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Review probably reads more like a 2.5, but I pretty much enjoy the first 3 & last 4 tracks. The mid-section isn’t necessarily bad, it just disappointingly floats on by.

Ponton
Emeritus
January 14th 2010



5784 Comments


This has already been said, but "3" seems to be your favorite number. Review was good and straight to the point. I would pos if I could.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 14th 2010



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"Guilty, your honor". In a way though, 3 should be the most popular rating of albums. There is a reason why the SputnikMusic Objectivity rating is built around an average rating of 3.

Having said all that, I think I have more albums rated a 3.5.

Ponton
Emeritus
January 14th 2010



5784 Comments


Oh wow, I happen to have an average of three. I actually used to read from this site before I became a member, and I remember when you first posted your Jimmy Eat World reviews back in 2008.

Anyway, I streamed a few tracks of this, and it did seem to have more of a mainstream rock vibe to it.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 14th 2010



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hmmm, I wonder why your objectivity isn't closer to 100% then. It must also take into account the variance. Oh well, anything in the 90's is great anyway.

Oh my, I hardly recall those JEW reviews myself. Then again, I have a shocking memory.

I'm unsure YMASix even meant to reach that kind of sound. I'd say it just happened as they beefed up their instruments. It is still pop-punk though. I just wonder where to next.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
January 14th 2010



3762 Comments


I is like that you reviewed this.

Digging: Towers - Bel Air Highrise Plantation

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 14th 2010



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"I is like that you reviewed this."

Does not compute in my grammar converter Alex...

Fugue
January 15th 2010



7352 Comments


Objectivity is based on a Gaussian distribution around the three rating, so basically unless your ratings show perfect symmetry in a Gaussian model, you won't have 100%...

Anyway great review, man. Personally I didn't like their first so the only reason I'd have of checking this out would be to increase my objectivity score lol.

And I knew it would be a three.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 15th 2010



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

What the hell is 'Gaussian"? Is that named after Sir Bob Gaussian?

Thanks Roscoe. If you didn't like their first, I agree not to bother with this.

Fugue
January 15th 2010



7352 Comments


Uhh a Gaussian distribution is also known as a normal distribution? Bell shaped and symmetrical about its mean.

[img]http://www.jlplanner.com/html/stddev.gif[/img]

And yeah, I wasn't planning on it ;-)

bodiesinflight57
January 15th 2010



869 Comments


I hate this band

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
January 15th 2010



7314 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Don't like the band. Album isn't terrible it's just average and as you say, generic. Good review as ever of course.

ToWhatEnd
January 15th 2010



3172 Comments


"Why the band used stand-alone singles ‘Finders Keepers’ and ‘Kiss and Tell’ on the deluxe edition of their debut (released in mid-2009) instead of holding them back for this album boggles the mind. "

Yes, yes it does. Good review Davey.

LG
January 15th 2010



3049 Comments


What is with the 3's. This and Ok Go's new one both read like 2.5's. So why aren't they sir?

DiceMan
January 15th 2010



7068 Comments


Logically we can assume that Davey hates negativity.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2010



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Roscoe, I'm actually pretty good with maths & statistics, but that thing just did my head in.

Thanks Ali... & can understand your opinion here.

Thanks Mike. With regards to those 2 stand-alone singles, I was actually going to dub it 'The Oasis Effect' since they also used so many great tracks as B-Sides & the like.

Fair question Lisbon... I mean Libson. I'd say both albums have an intangible factor of sorts when it comes to the reviewer. With this, I just enjoy listening to it & no individual song is bad. With OK Go, I really admired the risks & ambition they showed to change their sound dramatically.

Plus, I hate negativity. LOL.

LG
January 16th 2010



3049 Comments


Fair enough. Ummm how about we just go back to calling me LG, simplify my brother. I swear Canadians are weird eh?

Roach
January 17th 2010



2149 Comments


honestly this band fucking sucks

Knott-
Emeritus
January 17th 2010



10194 Comments


123

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 17th 2010



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"how about we just go back to calling me LG?" Life's Good.

Strikey, you're biased due to The Blackout reference. ;-)



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