Review Summary: Why should anyone care about You Me At Six in 2017?
I’ll be honest, I don’t mind Hold Me Down
and Sinners Never Sleep
. Although they aren’t what I would personally consider ‘great’ records, they were decently catchy, and contain some fairly decent songs in their own right (“The Consequence” and “Loverboy” respectively). But the issue with Night People
is a simple one; it’s been three years since the barely tolerable Cavalier Youth
, which saw You Me At Six deciding to coast along instead of expanding on the alt-rock sounds of their previous efforts. So now that Night People
has reached us, it beckons the question: why should anyone care about You Me At Six in 2017?
The catchy alt-rock sound of previous efforts has been dropped in exchange for stadium rock ala recent Fall Out Boy, but instead of being the focused, albeit flawed electronic-led stadium rock American Beauty/American Psycho
is, it’s a watered down, tiresome guitar-led stadium rock mess of an album. Opener “Night People” goes nowhere, relying too heavily on its chanty chorus to save itself from the uninteresting verses devoid of anything noteworthy. Uninteresting seems to be a perfect descriptive for Night People
; whether it be the repetitive drum patterns of “Plus One” or the droning of the bass and guitar on “Heavy Soul”, the album tries nothing new and shows it throughout. Much of the production is also scattered; vocals can sometimes become muddled and drop in the mix seemingly at random with some songs sounding far cleaner than others (compare “Swear” with “Spell It Out”), affecting the impact of many of the tracks.
That’s not to say Night People
is all bad, with the back half providing a bit more quality; the riffs for “Make Your Move” and “Can’t Hold Back” are pretty damn catchy, but they’re almost instantly ruined by the band’s apparent need to have an explosive opening followed up immediately by a more ‘laid-back’ verse that focuses on just the catchy guitar line. Additionally, vocalist Josh Franceschi is fairly talented, showcasing his impressive vocal range on various tracks (“Spell It Out” and “Make Your Move” are good examples), but when you’ve only tweaked the same sound for five straight albums, the listener can start to yearn for something more.
And that’s basically all I want from Night People
; something more
. You Me At Six coast through for the second album in a row, except this time taking three years to do so and adapting a more pop-rock sound. And that’s not to say a drastic change is needed, but rather just change. Something new, something fresh, something to make people want
to listen to You Me At Six once again. And considering we’ve waited three years for thirty-six minutes of samey stadium/pop rock, perhaps no one should
care about YM@6 in 2017.
Recommended Tracks: Swear, Make Your Move, Can’t Hold Back