Review Summary: Everyone Everywhere take us back to a time when nothing felt good, but at least we felt something.9 of 9 thought this review was well written
Standing out on my second-floor balcony and looking out onto the street, I have a view that's probably similar to what most of this review's readers have outside of their own homes, a most unassuming and unremarkable suburban setting. Watching two teens pass by, one carrying a lacrosse stick, the other walking a dog, I can't help but to imagine the emo bands of the mid-to-late '90s sprouting out of neighborhoods just like this one. When kids, for the most part, "have it good"-- that is, the lower tiers of Maslow's hierarchy of needs can pretty much be taken for granted-- what's left to write about but less primal desires like relationships and acceptance? From The Get Up Kids' playful insistence that we not hate them on Four Minute Mile
to Mineral's more tortured anguish on The Power of Failing
, the music might sound almost spoiled and juvenile to the jaded adult, but they paint a perfect picture of what it's like growing up in middle America.
While bands like The National are most relatable to my world-weary 28-year-old mind now, it's great to hear new bands like Everyone Everywhere carrying the torch lit by bands like The Promise Ring into the second decade of the 21st Century. It's rare for a new album to evoke feelings of nostalgia, but Everyone Everywhere
takes me back to a time before apathy was something I understood, before I grew up and in the process forgot what it's like to feel intensely about mostly everything.
Like anything so clearly indebted to the past, it would be easy for the cynical critic to label Everyone Everywhere
as completely derivative, and it would be hard to argue against that assertion. As the album opens with "Tiny Planet", the noodling guitars carry definite shades of Braid, those moody bass lines sound like something off Sunny Day Real Estate's Diary
, and Brendan McHugh's vocals are as earnest-sounding as Davey Von Bohlen. But like Newton and Leibnitz independently developing the Calculus, maybe there's really just a best way to go about expressing something. The feeling is so inherent in Everyone Everywhere's guitars and the music in general that words really aren't even necessary. But in that respect, Nothing Feels Good
already achieved perfection, so why mess with that formula too much?
Of course, like any record, Everyone Everywhere
is still a product of its time. Despite the time-tested statements of teenage disaffection in "Blown Up Grown Up" ("Kind of don't care about all these people, kind of don't want to be there"), McHugh alludes to more modern marvels ("They won't use Mapquest, and I don't think that they have GPS"). On "Fld Ovr", his alienation is a byproduct of, among other things, modern methods of communication ("Spelling words without vowels, calling people on the phone is out now").
The album unquestionably wears its influences prominently on its sleeve, but the pedigree is outstanding and the execution is astounding. If Everyone Everywhere
were released in the later '90s, we'd be touting it as an all-time classic today. Maybe you could say that now, it's just behind the times, trying to revive something that by-and-large died some time ago. If you can bring yourself to dislike this infinitely charming record on those grounds, well, more power to you. Me, I'll be out on that balcony, headphones firmly in place, giving it yet another spin, trying not to wonder where all the time went.