Maybeshewill
Fair Youth


3.5
great

Review

by Dan H. CONTRIBUTOR (55 Reviews)
August 25th, 2014 | 83 replies


Release Date: 08/25/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Relaxation, not revolution.

Fair Youth is an overwhelmingly positive record. Their sophomore release Sing the Word Hope in Four-Part Harmony channelled the band’s anger at modern society and their fears about the future, and they made their frustrations clear through relentless walls of sound and efficacious sound bites - creating a near classic in the process. Fair Youth in many ways sees Maybeshewill go full circle, and they've realised that the next best thing to engaging the problems of the world head on is to simply provide a reprieve from them. Here, they encourage you to get lost in broad, lush soundscapes and suggest that the best thing you can do for yourself is to switch off entirely and relax, if only for a little while.

The album’s third and longest song ‘You and Me and Everything In Between’ is the epitome of beauty, and it’s surprisingly understated given its lofty running time. Providing us with a lesson in delicate layering, a dainty piano lick is joined first by an electronic wave, then by soft strings and light cymbals before minimalist drumming and a perfectly congruous riff complete the shimmering effect the song builds. Elsewhere, ‘In the Blind’ is more immediate but every bit as brilliant and it’s one of the rare moments where the guitars shine every bit as much as the piano. It’s Maybeshewill at their finest, and the power it conveys is similar to ‘He Films the Clouds, Pt 2’ when everything comes together at the three minute mark. The string driven ‘All Things Transient’ and the gorgeous ‘Permanence’ complete the list of highlights, the former shining because of its organic feel, with the latter benefiting from the stellar drumming of James Collins.

Some of Fair Youth however feels like Maybeshewill have ripped the meat from the bones, and tightly compressed the mechanically recovered remains into inoffensive, but ultimately unsatisfying pieces. Lead single ‘In Amber’ acts as a prime example, as it skips merrily from start to finish without evolving in the fashion that we've come to expect from the brilliant Leicester five piece. The lead piano line is gorgeous and it drives the song forward, but it suffers from burying the guitars and bass too deep in the mix, and it doesn't grow or vary nearly enough to justify its near 6 minute run time despite its sheen. The same criticism can, to a lesser extent, be levelled at both ‘Asiatic’ and ‘Waking Life,’ as they get lost in the album’s midsection and fail to leave as much of an impression as the songs surrounding them.

Fans of the band’s frenetic early work may be put off initially by the largely mid tempo approach taken here. There are moments when you expect and even will the guitars to be let loose, only for them to remain understated, content to stand alongside and even defer to the prominent piano lines. While this can at times be frustrating, it’s difficult not to admire the restraint demonstrated throughout. There’s a strong sense of cohesion and unity which pervades Fair Youth, and the focus shown pays testament to the band’s growing maturity as musicians.

I’m aware that it’s unrealistic and downright greedy of me to expect each and every Maybeshewill album to flirt with perfection, but it’s a position which their own consistent brilliance has put them in. Whether they relish the label or not, they will in the minds of many be the finest instrumental rock band in Britain today, and with such an accolade comes an expectant fanbase and an unenviable pressure - though I hope they never feel it. Despite the minor flaws which hamper Fair Youth it’s still a solid addition to their discography, and it’s likely to provide many with the musical therapy that the band intended.



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user ratings (73)
Chart.
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
shostakoverture (5)
Truly the fairest of them all....

Jacob Royal STAFF (2.9)
“I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out, and yell, ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
August 25th 2014


1047 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Initially a 2, its a pretty big grower.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
August 25th 2014


10382 Comments

Album Rating: 2.9

Niice I listened to this for the first time yesterday (thank you Insomniac15)

I like the album for sure, but feels very diluted for them

Digging: Thou - Heathen

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
August 25th 2014


1047 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Although I alluded to it feeling that way throughout, diluted is a great word to summarise.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
August 25th 2014


10382 Comments

Album Rating: 2.9

i'll actually be reviewing this soon, but i fear we will share similar sentiments. hope it grows some tho =]

ExplosiveOranges
August 25th 2014


3884 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review, Dan. You think I'd dig this?

Digging: Millicent Waffles - Under Dark Blue Blanket

paradox1216
August 25th 2014


521 Comments


I'll have to check this out, past stuff has always interested me but I haven't really checked it out in detail

Keyblade
August 25th 2014


15378 Comments


Might have to check this. I Was Here... was a very pleasant surprise a few years ago

Digging: Fen - Carrion Skies

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
August 25th 2014


1047 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks man - I'd say check out Sing the Word Hope...It's their heaviest and I think it'll be the perfect intro to the band for you.

Its worth checking out and I think some people will get totally lost in the atmosphere of this and love it, but I wasn't one of those people.

Look forward to your thoughts on the album too Jacob.

VaxXi
August 25th 2014


756 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is hella good

thelastsignal
August 25th 2014


1586 Comments


Nice job, Dan. Mindpos! One thing that I noticed:
" Providing us with a lesson in delicate layering; a dainty piano lick is joined first by an electronic wave, then by soft strings and light cymbals, before minimalist drumming and a perfectly congruous riff complete the shimmering effect the song builds."
-The semicolon doesn't make sense in this sentence, just because the part can't stand independently as its own sentence. Maybe change it to a comma and omit the one after cymbals? That reads more fluidly to me.

Just a thought, awesome review anway!!

Digging: The Grouch x Eligh x CunninLynguists - The Winterfire EP

chesse13
August 25th 2014


4301 Comments


Why is the average for this so low

Hopelust
August 25th 2014


1120 Comments


I need this. Probably their last album too if it's supposedly more concrete than this one.

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
August 25th 2014


1047 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good catch Mark, thanks bud.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
August 25th 2014


16908 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Very nice review Vheissu! I knew when I saw your name on this review it would be top-notch. With that said, I liked this quite a bit more, but I definitely see the merit in all your points, both good and bad.

Digging: Low Roar - 0

Mesm277
August 25th 2014


235 Comments


Good album, jam with the drummer, James, at local open mics now and then, sound guy

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
August 25th 2014


10382 Comments

Album Rating: 2.9

that sentence

Mesm277
August 25th 2014


235 Comments


Dat edit tho

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
August 25th 2014


1047 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks for the kind words Sowing! I'll be surprised if the album average doesn't shoot up closer to a 4 with a few more people listening, that said its not as immediate as all their other albums.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
August 25th 2014


16908 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I just love how dreamy it feels. Definitely is more head-in-the-clouds than their past releases.

thelastsignal
August 25th 2014


1586 Comments


No problem, dude. I always know I'm about to read a strong review when I click on one of yours. Consistently excellent reviews are fairly hard to achieve, just because every one of them is contingent upon details that are different album to album.



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