Review Summary: http://darkdaysmusiccentral.blogspot.com/2015/07/communion-makes-this-auditor-feel-as-if.html
For all the occurrences that sum up 2015 so far (To Pimp a Butterfly
, Caitlyn Jenner, “effective power”, FIFA), it arrives as a mild surprise that everyday events still seem to be partaken in. Why? Because it seems as though in a grander scope of current news, there are always greater powers at work. This was a rather difficult quality to accept the existence of while listening to the debut full-length by English synth-pop trio Years & Years. However, the daunting truth is that the band isn’t all you would expect it to be -- I say it in such a way because Communion
was planned so well. It was almost too good to be true. Though it had singles for it coming out since February of last year, received tons of airtime and had a pop-accessible vibe from the very start of “Foundation”, the group is vaguely innovative; this is because it hones a electro-R&B tinged nu-disco flare (with a small euro-dance influence) and several elements that could make it seem kind of unique. But don’t let this fool you, because it feels as though there is a greater power at work here.
Listening to Communion
is a lot like hearing Glass Candy make hot, sweet love to The Helio Sequence, their utter ennui being common hereditary traits -- this is primarily caused by an audible lack of inspiration and flat, uninteresting production altogether. Inconsistency is a common factor that hinders the gratification of Communion
; the under (over?) production of the whole LP aside, good songs are scattered throughout as if listening to it was a sort of scavenger hunt. The main quality that seems to be dragging these songs down is repetitivity; “King” is composed of hooks that are banged into the auditor’s head constantly, as if the band members are trying to remember it themselves. But possibly the most annoying disqualification Y&Y has is that most of these songs aren’t somewhat catchy. A lot of these tracks are NOT memorable, seeing as they are both underdeveloped and largely unbearable.
Y&Y obviously runs a little deeper than the pop spectrum it submits itself to -- Communion
relentlessly tells of its many experiences it has with being “hurt”; take, for example, a lyrical sample from “Desire”: “Open your arms and pray / To the truth that you're denying / Give in to the game / To the sense that you've been hiding”; and “Gold”: “Do I belong? / Oh, I see it start to fade / Teach them a song / Oh, now I feel I've been betrayed.” This brief flash of legitimate emotion, however, is drowned by the pitifully passionless delivery.
Among this rubbish, Years & Years’ debut still, somehow, holds some slight glimpse of potential in its glare. Songs like “Shine” and “Border” hold different synthesizer textures to the rest of the album, while the singer and lyricists are beyond duly achieving what they sought to -- an entertaining (for lack of a better word) synth-pop record, whilst still moving parallel to what is considered trendy. It’s safe to say that anything proceeding the closer, “Memo”, WILL, indeed, be enjoyable enough to surpass the confines of the greater power, which casts Years & Years as another emotional and semi-captivating pop trio. Let’s hope they have as many “secrets to show” as the proclaim to.