On first impression, there are songs here that are pretty strong and others a bit too down tempo and/or familiar to enjoy. I'm happy to see "The After Party" get properly touched up after floating around as a poor quality demo. My only beef right now is that "No Sides" vocal melodies sound too similar to KD's "You're Trailing Yourself" at points and I have a hard time not thinking of it. The vocal bit at the end sounds a bit like Weezer's "Pink Triangle" though, which I like. I personally didn't latch on to the last Bad Books, MO or KD albums, which I found really surprising. A good handful of songs from BTC&C eventually grew on me though. I hope the rest will, this included.
The first album was great, but it was missing something. It probably sounds cliche by now, because almost every review has said it. The first record entitled "Bad Books" sounded like mix tape of songs by Kevin Devine/Right Away meets Manchester record. The album was almost a clash of the two the front man, as if they were fighting for dominance. This album a lot different, because they actually feed of each other. This album flows together, it doesn't sound like an Andy Hull track after a Kevin Devine track. It sounds like the super band they were predicted to be. This albums smooth, the first track grabs you right in by twisting your gut and the last track leaves you wanting more. You can't help but to think to yourself I hope there's some B-Sides. The lyrics are great on both sides and the music matches the words even better. Track for track it's amazing and when it's finished you can't help, but play it again. If you have been waiting this album to come out and haven't picked up yet, go get it right now! It will not disappoint you, I promise. This is the best album i have heard this year. The best track's on the album are "The After Party", "Forest Whitaker", "It Never Stops", "No Sides", "Petite More", and "42"
Also: " It’s a showcase of both artists learning how to play off their strengths instead of haphazardly copying and pasting."
huhwhat? These are two of the most creative songwriters out there. I don't know if anyone has ever accused Andy or Kevin of being redundant, if that is what you are implying.
First album felt disjointed and sounded like both artists were just taking what music their bands make and mashing it together instead of writing something together. This album is more consistent and cohesive
This album is definitely not "better" than Simple Math, but it is leaps and bounds above the first Bad Books record. I feel like there is such a hive mind on this website when one poster says this album is better than this album. What Simple Math brought to the table for Manchester Orchestra was an album of incredible depth and grandeur that Bad Books II doesn't accomplish. I love this new Bad Books record, but it's more of a fun listen to me than an awe inspiring immersing experience that Simple Math was, is, and will be for a long time.