Album Review: Everything Everything ‘Get To Heaven’
The third album from Manchester four-piece Everything Everything certainly has something to say. No change there then; the band’s debut ‘Man Alive’ and follow up ‘Arc’ both encouraged us to turn a shameful eye on our own nature: media manipulation, obsession with body image and other such human shortcomings. Their music is a borrowed, bizarre and unique kind of pop that sounds like nothing you’ve heard before but feels instantly familiar. At the risk of sounding nauseating, Everything Everything are a special respite in a time where songs that dominate the charts appear to have nothing to say.
Their third album is no less vocal, it was released nearly three months ago and I am still in the process of unfolding each song and figuring out what it is about. For frontman Jonathan Higgs, it seems we are sleepwalking into an age of desperation we can’t turn back from, but it is time to engage with what is going on: take off the blinders and descend into the minds of those who hold power, with some hope of working out what is really happening. Empathy is key here – making sense of the insensible. Don’t be fooled by the booming, show-tune like ‘Regret’: wrapped up in a blanket of punchy drums and chanting vocals comes a barbed observation about the increasing vanishing reports that dominate the news, perhaps of young people leaving to join ISIS: ‘ first you’ll see me on the news, then never again’. ‘Blast Doors’ is more obviously angry – a rant directed at what we have become: full of false promises, self-important, and too comfortable to make any attempt to be better: ‘ you say you’re gonna change, but you don’t have any time’. However, as is always the way with this band, ‘Spring/Sun/Winter/Dread’ will have you up and dancing in no time. There’s a subtle similarity to something like Taylor Swift’s ‘Blank Space’, which will keep your smile fixed until you stop to peel back the layers of the song, and open your ears to what Higgs is actually trying to say.
This is an album that will infect you with the need to listen to it over and over again. A minefield of catchy hooks and accomplished vocals; it sucks you into its world, only to break your heart with the big reveal – we’ve royally fucked up. No one knows how to fix what we’ve done or what happens next. For me, this album is not only a display of the band’s musical creativity, but of Higgs’ true poetic prowess as well.