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Tag: Mean Everything To Nothing

Album Review: Manchester Orchestra – Mean Everything To Nothing

by on Oct.07, 2009, under Album Reviews

It was a hot night in mid-May when hundreds of eager fans crammed into a venue in LoDo to watch Manchester Orchestra bring down the house. A few months later and this Atlanta-based group is on its way back to Denver (opening for Brand New this Thursday at the Fillmore).

Their newest record, Mean Everything To Nothing, was released earlier this year and attempts to give listeners a more accurate representation of how the group sounds live. Following their 2006 breakthrough, I’m Like A Virgin Losing A Child, Manchester Orchestra began garnering more serious media coverage and received a notable amount of airplay from the now-defunct local radio station Indie 101.5 (they’ve actually moved to an online format at indie303.com, but closed down terrestrial radio broadcasting a couple months ago).

From the first track this record pulls out all the stops. Lead singer Andy Hull’s delivery is impassioned and heartfelt, a good medium for the lyrical content. Mean Everything picks up where Virgin left off: a young man on a spiritual journey of sorts continues to patch his life together. As the protagonist of the story deals with the past and the present, he tries to decide what the next step should be. The lead single “I’ve Got Friends” displays this story with a catchy chorus and hard-hitting guitars.

Due to the highly contemplative nature of the songs, this should not be considered a “feel-good” record. Grappling with desperation, pride, and humanity are, and have been, core parts of Hull’s songwriting style. The record calms down during “I Can Feel A Hot One,” then picks right back up and ends with “The River,” an anthem of redemption.

Overall this album does manage to pack the energy of a live Manchester Orchestra show into a portable listening experience; however, repeat listening doesn’t always result in the same goosebumps, excitement, and emotional response that come from actually seeing this group perform live.

Watch the video for “I Can Feel A Hot One” recorded at Spin

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