Everything Everything
Man Alive


3.5
great

Review

by Tronic USER (1 Reviews)
September 3rd, 2010 | 25 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Impressive debutants Everything Everything's Man Alive waterfalls ideas and genres at a prolific rate.

Like a comic who chains complex pun after complex pun, leaving the brain scrambling to catch up, so goes Man Alive, the debut album from Everything Everything. It is an album unlike anything you've ever heard before, a true original, and at times, to borrow a lyric from Two For Nero, will leave you as "giddy as a baby in a centrifuge". What sets Everything Everything apart from the crowd is Jonathan Higgins' sugary falsetto: he delivers frequently baffling lines, "And I wanna know what happened to your boyfriend because he was looking at me like 'Whoah!'" at speed with constant octave-leaps. It can be quite bewildering.

Full disclosure: if the lyrics actually mean anything coherent it is beyond me. That isn't to say they are bad, far from it, in fact as little sense as they make Higgins has the power of an arresting turn of phrase, juxtaposing 1980s videogame nostalgia, "It's like Sega never died" with echoes of Nazi Germany, "You goosestep around the garden" in Two For Nero. He also on occasion plays with verbal jokes; decide for yourself whether the refrain in album highlight Suffraggette Suffraggette scans "Who's gonna sit on your fence", or "Who's gonna sit on your face".

The vocal hi-jinx does begin to grate by the start of Come Alive Diana. It's one falsetto-leap too far and feels like an attempt to inject some life into an otherwise stale song. Indeed, the last four songs are largely forgettable affairs, with the exception of NASA Is On Your Side, showing refreshing restrain in a slow-burning build-up over solemn keys, before peaking with an exultant chorus.

The focus of this review has been thus-far on the vocals, but there is some really excellent musicianship on display. Guitarist Alex Robertshow is reminiscent of Radiohead's Johnny Greenwood: it's unobtrusive, varied and deft, and also provides one of Man Alive's highpoints. From nowhere Suffraggette Suffragette is illuminated by a dirty great slab of driving distortion, an isolated moment of untempered rawk. It's a fabulous addition, but it's something of a double-edged sword: the other tracks are diminished ever so slightly. Their highly polished arty and intelligent exteriors, particularly Final Form and the closing duo of Tin (The Manhole) and Weights, have their lack of fire and warmth exaggerated.

That said, with such boundless invention it was always likely that Everything Everything would take a few mis-steps, but successes outweigh weaknesses in this superb first effort.


NB: Mods: This review can also be found on my blog, dontletmebeunderstood.blogspot


user ratings (156)
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
AliW1993
September 3rd 2010


7511 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I need to give this a listen

STOP SHOUTING!
September 3rd 2010


777 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nice review, they remind me of The Drums a bit.

Skimaskcheck
September 3rd 2010


2364 Comments


these guys are ridiculously tight live. so so impressive

amazingly talented vocalist too, will have to give this whole thing a listen soon

& good review!

supertouchox2
September 4th 2010


1062 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Excellent album, I would agree the vocals do get a bit much towards the end of the album but the tracks are solid throughout imo.

Kiran
Emeritus
September 11th 2010


6056 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this album is insane

Digging: Amen Dunes - Freedom

dcha
September 15th 2010


990 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I really like this review.

dcha
September 16th 2010


990 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Okay, this is way good.

supertouchox2
September 22nd 2010


1062 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Damnnn more people need to listen to this.

dcha
October 27th 2010


990 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I need more of this. I wouldn't be surprised if they ran out of ideas after this.

Sheeple9000
November 16th 2010


1349 Comments


The 3rd track, “Schoolin'” is so groovy.

Yotimi
November 21st 2010


7523 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

^yeah, schoolin rules. Album's not nearly as original as the review says but it's still filling my need for a sugary pop gem that Passion Pit filled last year

jefflebowski
December 27th 2011


8573 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

hfjkhfdglhglfhlrihvfsdilhteihrsdv your boyfriend

cauffhjghhfierovhreiohvoer like woah

foxblood
February 2nd 2013


10151 Comments


wow, best album art i've seen in a long time

EaglesBecomeVultures
March 1st 2013


5539 Comments


schoolin is groovy as shit
some of this kinda grates on me tho

nateradio
April 18th 2013


1 Comments


Great review. Like the writing style quite a bit

conditionals
January 2nd 2018


555 Comments


I need more of this. I wouldn't be surprised if they ran out of ideas after this

It all worked out OK

Tunaboy45
November 19th 2018


16788 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

flash

backs

to

the

time

this

shell

shocked

apart

ment

was

the

place

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
March 28th 2019


16939 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

These guys really don't have a bad album, huh?

Digging: Deerhoof - Deerhoof vs. Evil

zakalwe
March 28th 2019


29042 Comments


Some would say that, others would say it’s all a right load of gash.

DoofDoof
March 28th 2019


6203 Comments


Now now



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