Saturday, June 20, 2015
Album Review :: Everything Everything - Get To Heaven
Get To Heaven
June 22 2015 (RCA)
Words: Dave Beech
Where 2013's 'Arc' seemed to round off the angular art-pop of Everything Everything's debut, moulding it in to more digestible, bite-size chunks, 'Get To Heaven' sees the band returning once again to the the realms of ambitious song structures and time signatures, combining it with sharp, savvy lyricism, as opposed to the rich, open pop swathes of its predecessor.
For a band who constantly seem to elude classification, this should hardly come as surprise, and 'Get To Heaven', is in that sense, no different. From the house-y dance of single 'Distant Past' to the almost-ethereal shimmer of 'Warm Healer' the band segue and skitter their way through a host of varied aesthetics; the record's narratives offering similar diversity in their subject matter.
However, whilst the record's most prevalent themes might well be salient, they certainly aren't succinct, something which is exacerbated through vocalist Jonathan Higgs' erratic delivery, which sees him range from ultra-fast garbling to soaring falsetto, often within a single track. And whilst such a vocal range is definitely impressive, the unpredictable delivery makes it difficult to make out the content, a disservice to the band given the breadth and depth of the lyrics.
And they are deep. Far deeper, in fact, than one could pick up on from initial listens or radio plays. 'Regret' for instance, entwines a narrative which seems interested in ISIS brides, coupled with staccato synths and a frothy pop finish. The same pop finish that lovingly covers 'Get to Heaven' in its entirety, brought about through Stuart Price's position behind the mixing desk (his credits include both Kylie and Madonna). Though such pop sensibilities also manage to feel somewhat at odds with the heavy subject matter, making for a bizarre dichotomy of pop pomp and potentially overlooked social commentary.
One of the recurring themes throughout 'Get To Heaven' is that of human regression and that of the technology we create eventually becoming too much for us to contain. In short, becoming too clever for our own good. Ironically, that's also something which 'Get To Heaven' suffers from as well; the intelligent narratives lost amongst Everything Everything's need to fill their compositions with fidgety synths, sharp guitars and frenetic percussion. And though such musicality is well within the band's capabilities, the aforementioned 'Arc' felt more successful in its execution.