King Krule
Man Alive!


4.0
excellent

Review

by GooGooGajoob USER (15 Reviews)
March 4th, 2020 | 35 replies


Release Date: 02/21/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Ooz only shorter, better and more cerebral.

Man Alive! might sound like Archy Marshall’s - aka King Krule’s most in-consequent release yet. There’s no benefit of a debut release like Six Feet Beneath The Moon being his first splash and excusing his growing song-writing sensibilities, or his sophomore in which he found his sound but not without dragging it through mud with the long and overdrawn The Ooz. Reaching Man Alive! I suppose anything goes, but it can run off like a transitional record - maybe a re-imagining of The Ooz but cut down to a 40 minute run time and songs that cut themselves short of reaching any self-indulgent passages.

However, I must say - I love this record. While I know this album hasn’t turned many heads, there’s a lot to take from this record as it is quite an abstract listen. Much like The Ooz, songs are strung together seamlessly such as how the single ‘Alone, Omen 3’ and ‘Slinky’ are two different songs because as far as I’m concerned, they are one. Tracks run like vignettes, all knitted together and often ending either in cacophony, ambience or directly into the next.

There is a through-line skit that runs early through the album and that’s the use of phone calls that gradually become more and more ignored as the album progresses. The phone calls seem to be trying to reach an ex. In fact, this could be labelled partially as Archy’s break-up record - only that it is diluted with so much darkness and depression that tracks like ‘Supermarche’ and ‘Stoned Again’ show just how hard Archy may be falling at his own hand.

‘Stoned Again’ juxtaposes Archy’s current over-use or even abuse of getting high and comparing how he has become vs. a younger Archy who when he was ten ‘got a puppy,’ almost trying to reflect just how he’s tumbled so far from his upbringing and how things have gone the way they have. ‘Theme for the Cross’ makes reference to imagery like ‘men who drowned whilst holding their daughters,’ a clear feeling Archy conveys about his fatherhood, hurt more by the fact this split only fractures the relationship with his child only further.
‘Underclass’ which is the most straight forward jazz ballad of the record speaks about how judgement has cut close to Archy about his ways, even his social class - possibly commenting how his ways are much more like ‘the underclass’ or leading him towards it and how he maybe doesn’t care if that’s so. These at-least are some of the more obvious lyrical themes, because majority of this album is very surrealist, poetic, often in spoken word: ‘prisoners [bashing] brains to a pulp.’ Take ‘Cellular’ for example, imagery of a french girl crying in the palm of your hands, lying dead inside your mind. It’s often intoxicating visuals that are drawn from the more surrealist and abstract cuts like this and majority of Man Alive!

This release is a much more cerebral listen than anything Archy has released before under the King Krule name. While I understand The Ooz is a beloved record that many would describe as just that, Man Alive! is maybe more challenging on entry but far more rewarding on re-listen than The Ooz was, a record that sounds cool but that I always tune out of only earlier and earlier on revisiting. Man Alive! on the other hand has me slowly falling into it like some comical vision of a homeless man rummaging a dumpster before he just falls in and gets swallowed up by it.



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user ratings (151)
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
GooGooGajoob
March 4th 2020


217 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

As far as I’m concerned, this was a terrible write-up - but the thought of having to describe every musical moment seems tedious and that you’ll either love it if you love it or don’t if you don’t… the record that is, not this review.

Digging: Charli XCX - How I'm Feeling Now

Lord(e)Po)))ts
March 5th 2020


54525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"The Ooz only shorter, better and more cerebral."





well thats debatable....



it is shorter tho

Digging: Populous - W

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2020


25609 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is rly good

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2020


18863 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

It's better than his last at least

bloc
March 5th 2020


61077 Comments


Hated this

Digging: Cut Copy - I Thought Of Numbers

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2020


18863 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

wait now im reminded why I find this so annoying

Lord(e)Po)))ts
March 5th 2020


54525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

because bloc doesn't like it?

bloc
March 5th 2020


61077 Comments


So this is what being an influencer feels like

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2020


18863 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

no because i can't fucking get over how cool this guy thinks he is

his singing is some of the worst shit ive heard

Lord(e)Po)))ts
March 5th 2020


54525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

he's morbidly depressed dude, if that wasn't clear enough from his lyrics. sounds like you're projecting a bit.



i completely get hating his vocals, but just cuz he sings like a retard doesn't mean he thinks he's cooler than you chief

GooGooGajoob
March 5th 2020


217 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@neekafat that's some prejudice you have there buddy



My only critique and this is without any lick of interviews or anything that's not his music directly is that he seems a little self-centred and doesn't take much perspective of others - especially all over The Ooz but this release seems pretty honest of a self-perspective

Lord(e)Po)))ts
March 5th 2020


54525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

he's deffs an angst-ball

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2020


25609 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Stoned Again might be my fav song right now ngl

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2020


18863 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I have trouble listening to lyrics on the first couple listens so that's fair enough, I just felt it more from the music than anything



Dunno how I'm projecting tho lmao



I dig "Comet Face" a lot actually, but the rest is growing cold fast

Demon of the Fall
March 5th 2020


16265 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice to eventually see a review here. I disagree on the summary but admittedly the review is well-written regardless. I thought this would grow on me, instead of hovering in that perpetual void between being enjoyable enough while it's on, but not giving me that burning desire which demands further listening.

Digging: Slowdive - Pygmalion

Lord(e)Po)))ts
March 5th 2020


54525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@neek just a sprinkle of shit-talk for flavour

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2020


18863 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Fair tbh, I actually was more concerned about how not liking this makes me prejudiced in any way lmao

Lord(e)Po)))ts
March 5th 2020


54525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ur ableist

unclereich
March 5th 2020


5985 Comments


wtf this is out?!

Lord(e)Po)))ts
March 5th 2020


54525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Something predictable i would guess



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