You Me At Six

Night People

Written by: TL on 23/01/2017 15:23:31

One of the first noteworthy records to come out in 2017 is "Night People", the fifth album from Surrey, UK-based pop-punks grown into modern pop-rockers You Me At Six. It's the first we hear from the band since "Cavalier Youth" from three years ago, where honestly they played down to the appeal of younger crowds somewhat, compromising on both lyrical content and longevity of their tunes, so whether they were going to continue along that path or try on something new at this turn was always going to be interesting to find out.

Having been through it a number of times, however, the most essential thing it feels you can say about "Night People" is that it's a record made by a band that has learned how, yet forgotten why. Collaborating with US producer Jacquire King (who's been behind some very well known Kings Of Leon and Of Monsters And Men records), the quartet a record of ten songs (35 minutes) that are all pretty good at getting off the starting line well and making the listener feel like there's a narrative to be heard, where something's at stake. The tricks and arrangements put in place are more traditional and familiar than novel, sure, but that's not really the issue when they're put together with such a smooth touch. You feel in safe hands and generally settle in, waiting for what the band has to say and how they're going to lift things when they've built up to their choruses.

One problem is that no chorus on "Night People" is very remarkable, though. Nothing builds to anything you haven't heard a hundred times before from seasoned UK bands of a similar stature: The ones that have been in the music magazines enough that they wanna keep things energetic enough to keep their larger theater venues lively, yet keep things smooth and friendly enough for daytime radio. Deaf Havana, Lower Than Atlantis and Young Guns come to mind, as acts having gone similarly safe routes after fame had come around. Opener "Night People" is moderately infectious, mainly due to a good back and forth trade off between guitar and vox lines, while "Heavy Soul" has a warm, mature, almost heartland rock-ish atmosphere, and the closing ballad "Give" gets nice and soulful by letting it all hang out towards the end - But apart from these three, it's hard to say any of the remaining songs are going to stick much at all.

Another problem is that while singer Josh Franceschi has learned to add various dramatic techniques, making the most of his otherwise limited singing range, he seems to have not taken an interest in writing anything remotely cohesive. Paying attention to lyrics in tracks like "Take On The World" and "Brand New" reveals some of the most vague, hollow and uninspired drivel in a while, with one generic sentiment following another without ever giving a feeling of songs being about anything at all.

So while You Me At Six have gotten good enough to have both the muscle and the touch to conjure up moods that can range from both the rockin' to the sensitive, they need more inspired writing out of Franceschi if they are not to slide gradually into irrelevance. For now, "Night People" is merely a great example of something that sounds a lot like a big deal at a passing glance, but has disappointingly little to offer if you try to scratch the surface.


Download: Heavy Soul, Night People, Give
For The Fans Of: Mallory Knox, Young Guns, Lower Than Atlantis, Deaf Havana

Release date 06.01.2017
BMG Rights Management

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