Manchester Orchestra
Cope


4.0
excellent

Review

by Caleb C. USER (26 Reviews)
March 27th, 2014 | 191 replies


Release Date: 04/01/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: All that I know, there's a way to fix it.

Sometimes when striving to make a career defining album a band can overreach themselves. Reaching for the stars, as it were, can come back to bite in the ass. You can’t fault a band for trying to release their “classic”, but often the release requires more of an accident than a plan. By redefining and exploring new song structures and sounds, Manchester Orchestra leapt towards a lofty goal of creating their magnum opus on their last LP Simple Math and found themselves occasionally crushed under the weight of their own ambition. They stretched themselves too thin in searching for that perfect sound and in return lost a good portion of the greatness that made their earlier work so honest and endearing. Sometimes the realization that you had come up short can be demoralizing, but Andy Hull and Co. understand that when adversity strikes it’s better to learn from the past and use it as a guide moving forward. Reducing and simplifying is the name of the game for the follow-up Cope.

In an interview leading up to release, Andy Hull said that while Simple Math was an album that strove towards being a color palette of songs, Cope was trying to be “black and red the whole time”. Debunking the theory that artists’ assessment of their own work is horrifically misleading, I find that Manchester Orchestra has completely accomplished this goal. Cope opens with the crunchy (see: literally would like to chew on) guitar of “Top Notch” and that guitar never relents. It’s rock music through and through; it pulsates and swaggers its way through the speakers and keeps its head held high. Even when slowing down to a snail’s pace like in “The Mansion” the confidence is there, present in Hull’s soaring vocal leads as much as in the mild strut of the undertone riff. “Every Stone” is the “Simple Math” of the record, yet rather than holding back until a full buildup was achieved it gives it all away at the beginning, and the finale is still as breathtaking in its harmonization. And while the black and red only approach sometimes proves limiting, the album is concise enough for it not to wear.

Hull is still the quintessential post-teenage-angst lyricist he has always been, drawing small moments with a light touch before extracting momentous revelations, this time with a special look at dealing with personal complications. On the plodding closer “Cope”, Hull tries to come to grips with his current situation only to realize he hates the way we deal with problems, in the end resigning “I hope if there is one thing I let go it is the way that we cope”, a direct challenge of album opener “Top Notch”'s doom-saying chorus of “All that I know, there’s no way to fix it”. It’s clear that Manchester Orchestra has taken their own advice and coped with adversity in a resolute fashion with Cope, proving that there clearly was a way to fix the problems introduced on Simple Math, even if the end result is not the “classic” that some have clamored for.



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user ratings (269)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
iswimfast
March 26th 2014


1336 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i hope this is as good as the other guys. right next to someone else is intimidating. stream is
here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDPnVRspo_0

i really like this.

ABjordanMM
March 26th 2014


1437 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review. Clever dear hunter recs.

Digging: Ben Howard - I Forget Where We Were

iswimfast
March 26th 2014


1336 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

haha yea, it helps that hull actually produced "red", which hits similar places to this.

ABjordanMM
March 26th 2014


1437 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

did he really? I know he played on it, didn't know he produced it as well. The chorus in "choose you" very well might be my favorite.

iswimfast
March 26th 2014


1336 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

top notch has stuck to me the most "catchy-ness" wise, but choose you is definitely up there

Xenophanes
Emeritus
March 26th 2014


10615 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

First song is cool but I've heard this is less moody and idk how I feel about that

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

someguest
March 26th 2014


20929 Comments


andy hull's endless period has closure

xenophanes experiences xenopains

Digging: Dexter Gordon - Our Man in Paris

iswimfast
March 26th 2014


1336 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ha yea i mean hull still has an emotional delivery but the band doesn't wax and wane with him nearly as much as they did on simple math

thelastsignal
March 26th 2014


1370 Comments


Great review, pos'd. Can't wait to hear this one.

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2014


18740 Comments


these guys played my citys saint patricks day

i didnt stay

Digging: Monolake - Hong Kong

someguest
March 26th 2014


20929 Comments


any band that bathes regularly can't be worth seeing live

iswimfast
March 26th 2014


1336 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks signal. and if i was andy hull i wouldnt bathe just so i could have something living in my beard.

someguest
March 27th 2014


20929 Comments


all the pussy he eats probably has crabs up in that bitch

iswimfast
March 27th 2014


1336 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

that joke goes so many places i love you

Nikkolae
March 27th 2014


4862 Comments


Someguest: keeping it classy since 07

Digging: Cursed Graves - Western Blood

someguest
March 27th 2014


20929 Comments


you're about as useful as a penis pump for a castrated man

but I do admire the effort

Nikkolae
March 27th 2014


4862 Comments


dont get mad bay bay i was jay kay

someguest
March 27th 2014


20929 Comments


you know I don't give a fuck so it's all good

the last person who thought I gave a fuck is still engaged to a fucking loser

XingKing
March 27th 2014


10882 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Not sure how I feel about this. I had to force myself not to turn it off

someguest
March 27th 2014


20929 Comments


You probably feel the same way I do after seeing a Christmas avatar at the end of fucking March.



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