You Me at Six are one of the biggest names in rock music- but they’ve been out of the spotlight for a while. After two commercially massive albums in the form of Sinners Never Sleep and Cavalier Youth, their last album- Night People- was a relative disappointment, despite being a fairly solid rock album. But instead of resting on their laurels, the band immediately jumped back into the studio to record this, their sixth album. After an inordinate amount of singles, I’m actually quite excited about the band’s music again- something I haven’t felt since the aforementioned Sinners Never Sleep. So let’s see how this new album sounds.
The band have definitely updated their sound- while Night People was reasonably organic in it’s musical choices, this is definitely a more modern-sounding album than anything they’ve released previously. The production is absolutely top-notch, with everything sounding beautifully clear- every song having its individual sound and place. The band’s composition skills have definitely improved as well, and these songs seem to be put together and structured better- everything has its place and is there for a reason, and as a fan, I can’t tell you how pleasing this is.
The song that struck me as something special straight away was definitely ‘Fast Forward’, with its clean, bright, 1975-esque guitars and upbeat sound. It was catchy, sure, but what struck me the most about it was the fact that it was something new, and different. You Me at Six’s sound has changed a lot over their past few albums, but despite all this change, it always seemed to sound a bit stale. Another song that really seems to break the mould a bit is the poppy ‘Danger’, with it’s infectious rhythm and low key chorus that both suck the listener in. The best song here is definitely ‘I O U’, though- which masters the art of the ‘anti-drop’, building up to the chorus, and then dropping down to a perfectly minimal chorus. If I remember one song from this album it’ll be that one.
But don’t get me wrong, this album isn’t going to change the rock game. It experiments a bit- but there’s nothing conceptually refreshing or new about it. What is refreshing, however, is that it was written by a band that I like, but have consistently been putting out middle-of-the-road stuff for the past few years. I want the band to do well- I know that they can, and this feels like the perfect way to get back on their feet. Honestly, I’m impressed. But next album, they have to build on this, rather than slumping back into the painfully average. Let’s hope they do just that.
Best songs: Press Restart, Danger, I O U