Reviews are a pain-free way of combining writing with what I love (for example, music), in a way that generates interest.
Infidelity, Suspicion and Power Playing
Collectively known as UK rock band You Me At Six, vocalist Josh Franceschi, bassist Matt Barnes, lead guitarist Chris Miller, rhythm guitarist Max Heyler and drummer/percussionist Dan Flint release their fifth studio album entitled, 'Night People'. The new record features a line-up of wholehearted, impassioned songs about in-relationship infidelity, suspicion and power playing. Grounded and relatable, frontman Josh Franceschi confidently channels the upheaval these sort of issues usually dredge up.
‘Night People’ isn’t safe, however it doesn’t exactly rewrite the rule book. The record boasts nothing as progressive or challenging as its devil-may-care title track. Enhanced by titillated, edgy guitar work, the tune ‘Night People’ immediately stands out. Its rugged, sexy, glamour evokes an irrepressible sense of mischief. Supported by over-processed, echoey backing vocals, the song recklessly depicts a night out on the town.
A Few Shades Darker
Although the LP would’ve benefited from further exploring the seedy, primal underworld its title track delves into, 'Night People' has its share of high points. The new release explores a range of contrasting moods. ’Spell It Out’ is a few shades darker than the blistering ‘Make Your Move’ and slow-burning ‘Give’. ‘Night People’ can also be surprisingly soulful. It has moments of real heart, the best burn with charge and emotional pull.
'Night People' has the power to convert casual listeners into the band's already heaving fanbase. Additionally, dedicated You Me At Six fans will be able connect with the project’s warmer songs. Sixers who like their rock a little heavier are given the chance to vent their frustrations on the album's pumped-up, more aggressive offerings.
The Sky's the Limit
Placed in the middle of an altogether stimulated tracklist, ‘Take On The World’ is a delicate highlight. Franceschi’s devoted performance on the tune drips in wanderlust. The ‘sky’s the limit’ energy that’s channeled via the song’s melodies and lyrics is its real success. Franceschi’s gravelly vocals help keep the tune’s sentimentality from going overboard. ‘Take On The World’ is one of those tracks that has the potential to become meaningful to a lot of people.
Continuing the album’s lyrical theme of distrust, hyperactive single ‘Swear’ contains a treasure trove of undeniably catchy musical ideas. Its hook stays on the brain long after the song stops playing. Instilled with many of the same charms, likeable standout ‘Brand New’ showcases stellar, sunny pop arrangements. As the tune hits its stride and careens into a consuming climax, ‘Brand New’ is elevated to a whole new level.
You've Got Me Right Where You Want Me
Stunned by his lover’s true colours, and infuriated at her underhanded manoeuvring, a jilted Franceschi lets rip on the dynamic, energised ’Can’t Hold Back’. ’Can’t Hold Back’ is boosted by a range of arresting guitar performances. Most of which are heard supporting the tune’s all-out chorus.
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Disenchanted again by the mind games a partner is playing, Franceschi delivers gutsy, committed vocals on ‘Make Your Move’. At one point he is heard chanting, “got me right where you want me, don't you?” ‘Make Your Move’ is an electrifying standout. The cut squeezes the most from its blistering melodic arcs.
Losing Grip and Sanity
’Spell It Out’ is an intriguing effort, the enigmatic rock song is presented mysteriously. It often seems like much is hidden between the tune’s lines, almost as if the song itself is holding its cards to its chest. A theatricality surrounds ’Spell It Out’, it feels ambitious. Franceschi’s wholehearted vocals are notably dramatised. The singer accompanies them with tumultuous lyrics like, “in all this mayhem, you've made me feel again, but some of me won't be saved. I've tried to change, I've got my ways. Losing grip and sanity.”
The gritty romance of ‘Give’ is the tune's main selling point. On ‘Give’, Franceschi sings about reconciliation with a loved one after a prolonged period of separation. The void that has been created by the absence of this person is palpable on the track. The song's lyrics confessionally explore the personal differences that can complicate a close relationship. While its verses are rueful and reflective, Franceschi abruptly roars its jilted, charged choruses. You Me At Six communicate an authentic sense of disquiet and loneliness on ‘Give’, which strengthens its emotional currents.