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Album Review - Page 10
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12:19 PM on 05/06/11
Holly HoX!
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if you find the page on ifc.com where they debuted the video for Simple Math, you can read Andy's description of the album. It's awesome and sheds a lot of light on where he was coming from with this record.

Thanks. Sorry about the typos - on my phone and once it's typed it's set in stone.
12:36 PM on 05/06/11
Sic Transit Zeb
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Wow.

A-Love the album. It's just great.

B-Very good review!
12:39 PM on 05/06/11
Sic Transit Zeb
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First I'd like to say that I don't quite understand when people say, "it took me a few listens" to get this record. If anything, I think it is their most immediate work, because although the songs may, tonally, sound varied, it is truly their most cohesive record. Their is a thread running through Simple Math that is more like a huge fucking lasso, roping us all in, and that is of course Andy Hull's expressive pipes. He does a lot of similar things with his voice (ending cadences with a high-pitched lilt, often using very staccato notes, etc) and since this is, for better or worse, a concept album in that it tells the story of a time in his life, it would be incorrect to say something as trite as, "There are a lot of different types of songs on Simple Math."

In fact, i don't think there's been an album compelling me to listen from beginning to end like this in a long time. But also, I think the amazing thing here, is that he has taken something so personal, that a lot of his fan base is too young to understand, and found a way to make it universal. He said in an interview, "I am not dumb enough to think people won't place their own meanings on top of mine." And it's that attitude that makes for long-lasting attachment.

But all that mumbo jumbo, in a way, is moot. Because I honestly don't feel the need to sit down and analize why I like this album. Rather, I felt this thing in my bones, as iffy as that sounds, telling me that this was what I needed. Telling me that this piece of art was something that would stick with me, and to an extent, change how I thought about certain types of rock music.

When it comes down to it, we all just want to be lucky enough to find something that makes us happy. And although it's unfair to say, "Thank goodness he went through this because look what came of it!," that's exactly how I feel. This isn't really an album to me, because albums have become disposable whether we believe so or not. This feels more like a book, more like a page-turner that requires dissections and discussions of motif and theme.

Simple Math, obviously, is not an easy album in many ways. But to me, it was the easiest album to love in a long time. Bravo to these dudes.
Very nicely put! Thanks.
12:59 PM on 05/06/11
Blake Solomon
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Thanks. Sorry about the typos - on my phone and once it's typed it's set in stone.
i am immune to typos!

and i'm glad people digged what i said. It was kind of stream of consciousness, clearly, but I was in the zone while enjoying the record and it just kind of took over.

Man this record is good.
09:54 PM on 05/06/11
fifpb99
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apprehension and leave it alone are 2 of my favorite tracks, with virgin and simple math coming in 3rd and 4th. enjoying this album MUCH more than i did METN. (honestly, wasnt thrilled with that album :* )
06:42 AM on 05/07/11
Portugal4142
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Hull is using he voice better and better on each CD. I get the chills everytime I hear "And I will do my best to plead with..." on Mighty..

Personally I don't care how any of this sounds live. I'm sure they'll pull it off, but I'm a big believer in doing whatever sounds good/original/different/natural in the studio and worrying about the live show afterwards. When it comes down to it, I'll most likely see them live once in a year (if that) and I'll listen to this record 200+ times this year.
12:05 PM on 05/07/11
onaradioflyer
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Really well written review. Awesome riyls
12:51 PM on 05/07/11
pleasedontask
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Easily my album to beat at this point in the year.
02:00 PM on 05/07/11
KY Jelly
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god damn dude how long did it take you to graduate college???
03:53 PM on 05/07/11
OurLadyCoolbean
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I'm not a ManOrch fan, but I'm looking to be. I've listened to the song Simple Math and that completely sold me, so I'll be getting this and METN soon.
09:14 PM on 05/07/11
xXrunninglateXx
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Though not really familiar with this band I wouldn't say they're "phenomenally underrated" as they seem to have a large following and nearly every post/review/newstory I see about them has been very positive.

I guess it depends on yr definition of large following but as someone that bows at their musical alter, I don't see nearly as many people as I should kneeling next to me.

I would classify them (to use a movie term) as more of a cult classic: not many like them but the ones who do love them!
09:31 PM on 05/07/11
xXrunninglateXx
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I feel like I'm the only person in the world who is disappointed with this album. A few of the big problems I have with this album is the overkill of strings. It does work on a few tracks here but unfortunately in my opinion they overkill it as they use strings on pretty much every track here. Another problem i have with this album is it losses it's catchy-ness and hooks that made their last two releases stand out to me.

I think that the large amount of strings is what threw me off my first listen. After that first listen, I was worried that I really might not like this album but I hit repeat and just like that ::snaps:: it clicked. As Adam and many others have said, this album is grower where the previous albums weren't to me.

My main problem with this album is it's all over the place in terms of mood. Lyrically this album is dark, however i find the music really doesn't reflect on that all that much. You have lots of pop rock while singing about death, leaving your wife, etc

I see where you're coming from on this argument but I don't agree at all. Good Old War comes to mind when dealing with the issue of catchy music under darker lyrics. Now, dark might not be the right word exactly to describe GOW's lyrics but Keith has talked about this disconnect of lyrics not matching up with the music mood-wise and I agree; you don't need dark music for dark lyrics. Now, if you look at "Virgin," I totally agree the mood of the music adds to the lyrics darkness but it's not necessary.

I'm wondering how they will pull this off live as I'm doubting they will be brining the stings with them on tour, but will be interesting to see how they will do this live

This will be interesting to see. I saw Fleet Foxes last nite (A-MAZING) and they had parts from the new album that weren't recreated exactly as they were on the album but I feel it worked perfectly fine none-the-less. I have a feeling Manchester's show will pick up live where the album left off just fine.
10:29 PM on 05/07/11
WeltallAY
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I guess it depends on yr definition of large following but as someone that bows at their musical alter, I don't see nearly as many people as I should kneeling next to me.

I would classify them (to use a movie term) as more of a cult classic: not many like them but the ones who do love them!
You know, I may be thinking of another band now that I think of it. I feel like there was a band that started with "M" that was getting all this rave attention but I think the singer was bearded and they played more indie-ish music.
01:21 AM on 05/08/11
jesse_hitz
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I think that the large amount of strings is what threw me off my first listen. After that first listen, I was worried that I really might not like this album but I hit repeat and just like that ::snaps:: it clicked. As Adam and many others have said, this album is grower where the previous albums weren't to me.



I see where you're coming from on this argument but I don't agree at all. Good Old War comes to mind when dealing with the issue of catchy music under darker lyrics. Now, dark might not be the right word exactly to describe GOW's lyrics but Keith has talked about this disconnect of lyrics not matching up with the music mood-wise and I agree; you don't need dark music for dark lyrics. Now, if you look at "Virgin," I totally agree the mood of the music adds to the lyrics darkness but it's not necessary.



This will be interesting to see. I saw Fleet Foxes last nite (A-MAZING) and they had parts from the new album that weren't recreated exactly as they were on the album but I feel it worked perfectly fine none-the-less. I have a feeling Manchester's show will pick up live where the album left off just fine.
damn fleet foxes would be amazing, their new album is stellar. Update: Simple math (album) is growing on me somewhat, however i dunno maybe it will take some more time. I do like your points though, you defiantly have a good way of digesting the album.
04:06 AM on 05/08/11
Micklovin
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i haven't heard a single Machester album yet in full, but after this review, the 5 stars from Alt Press, and most importantly, hearding the song "Virgin", I'm pretty pumped on getting this record!

THIS THIS THIS!!!!! I feel exactly the same. I've Got Friends is an incredible song but I just never got into that record. After hearing "Virgin" i knew I had to give this album a good go. So very good!
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