You Tell Me
You Tell Me


3.0
good

Review

by Dewinged CONTRIBUTOR (57 Reviews)
January 17th, 2019 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The coy nature of a sparkling prog-pop affair

It's quite fitting that Field Music's Peter Brewis and Admiral Fallow's Sarah Hayes had crossed paths for the first time during a Kate Bush tribute event. The whole affair was like an electric pulse, the moment they met they knew they would work together. Although the initial project would see Brewis producing Hayes' solo album, things got out of hand in the way that fate can't be tricked, and the project became a duo under the name You Tell Me, a deliberation which probably took them a whole afternoon to resolve, finally naming their union after what it sounds like a running joke in the studio.

This debut is not easy to describe. Too devious for straight folk pop fans or too simple for those hungry minds starving for innovation. It goes back and forth in search of a middle point, and by the time their sound starts to settle with an identity, it jumps off the window and takes refuge in the opposite building. The boiling mind of Brewis keeps Hayes folk leanings from becoming stagnant. This is something clearly exemplified in a song like "No Hurry", which splits the album in two with a semi-balladesque tone while dangerously sinking in what may be the puddle of mud in the road for their first endeavor.

Honestly, the landmark sound of Brewis is what makes You Tell Me a thing of its own. Songs like "Water Cooler", "Enough to Notice" or "Invisible Ink" have the necessary spark to fit into a parallel universe, female fronted Field Music. Furthermore, these songs have a frail scent of post-Bejar era The New Pornographers meets The B52s that makes the album shine, an aspect that could have worked better had it been the main focus. Instead, You Tell Me's lack of ear-worm melodies makes it a very fleeting experience, save for the vocal hammering of "Get Out of the Room"; there's no escape to that one.

The production though is impeccable, outlining every interwoven instrument vividly. The duo's debut is strong in this sense, profiting from a rich sound palette that evokes a wide variety of scenarios, from the green meadows of "Springburn" to the dreamy scenes from a musical in "Jourska" and the night city drives of "Starting Point". You Tell Me makes abundant use of piano and strings while rotating flutes, acoustic guitars and double vocals, driven sometimes by syncopate beats or by more uniform tempos, constantly searching for a dock to anchor but never doing it for too long.

You Tell Me speaks through colors, like a peacock's tail through a prism, to deliver its message. It is the kind of progressive pop that struggles to take off and fly because it needs to grow wings first. Although it's a matter of time the duo finds the perfect formula, their chromatic folk pop proposal may pass by for many like a summer breeze, pleasant when it blows but forgotten when it's gone.



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user ratings (9)
Chart.
2.8
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 17th 2019


16458 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

What am I even doing?



Stream it here: https://youtellme.bandcamp.com/



Some people here might enjoy this more than me... maybe.



Merry Christmas.





Digging: Cross Record - Cross Record

TwigTW
January 17th 2019


3812 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I gave this a couple of listens hoping it would grow, but the songs never really grabbed me. It's well crafted, but leaves me cold. "Springburn" is nice.

Digging: P.P. Arnold - The New Adventures of ...

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 17th 2019


16458 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, personally I think the art rock approach works better like in Watercooler. The folky songs are obviously good but have zero staying power for me.

NorwichScene
January 17th 2019


2904 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It’s certainly no Admiral Fallow. 2.5 - 3 at best

SowingSeason
Moderator
January 17th 2019


31905 Comments


"The boiling mind of Brewis keeps Hayes folk leanings to become stagnant."
I think you meant The boiling mind of Brewis keeps Hayes' folk leanings from becoming stagnant.

"But better safe than sorry, You Tell Me doesn’t bite, in fact, it lacks a melody with enough hooking power, the kind of ambitious ear-worm needed to drag ears back, with a potential exception being the vocal hammering of "Get Out of the Room"."
Massive run-on sentence that should be re-arranged, sounds kinda awkward anyway.

Otherwise, good review -- I love that you've been concentrating on new releases lately (maybe you always have, in which case I'm sorry I didn't notice!)

Digging: Off With Their Heads - Be Good

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 17th 2019


16458 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Sow yeah, I've been on new releases for a while now, like, couple of years lol



I wasn't very happy with this one though, tried different things and went on without proofreading (classic!). Gonna fix those, thanks!

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 18th 2019


16458 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Wow this really doesn't have an audience here

Hawks
January 18th 2019


73061 Comments


You Tell Men

Digging: Dead Can Dance - The Serpent's Egg

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 18th 2019


16458 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Before clicking I already knew where this was going lol

splinter
January 18th 2019


516 Comments


[2]

Hawks
January 18th 2019


73061 Comments


m/ m/ m/

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 18th 2019


16458 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

One would say: " well, at least threads get bumped" lol

SowingSeason
Moderator
January 18th 2019


31905 Comments


Ah yeah my bad, I lose track of ya'll sometimes but I always appreciate the new album coverage because it helps me know what I should be checking out.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 18th 2019


16458 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Sure, no prob dude, you may like some tracks here, but since you are on an electric mood recently you better check Two People's "First Body" or even the new Tender. Both came out today.

SowingSeason
Moderator
January 18th 2019


31905 Comments


Oh nice, will do...I am slated to check/review the new Dolphin Midwives which is harp/multi-instrumental with some electronic infusion, so that'll be my priority but after that [oh, and Sharon Van Etten] I'll make time to at least give them a cursory listen

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 18th 2019


16458 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I checked Dolphin today, it was... interesting. Like, sometimes it was incredibly beautiful and after I while I started feeling she was just testing my patience. Let's see what you think.

SowingSeason
Moderator
January 18th 2019


31905 Comments


oh wtf you heard of her, and listened to the album no less? thought for sure I'd be the first but it's cool that I'm not



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