The production of the album, by guitarist Alex Robertshaw, is impeccable to say the least. Each sound is treated as delicately as in minimal techno, as if each one was made to stand out on its own; the smallest synth line sparkles and the guitars sparkle like a galaxy made of candy. Higgs’s voice is clean and processed, his emotion as raw as a 3D-printed steak. It’s one of the only elements that really fit into the band’s man-and-machine summation.
“Jennifer,” with New Order’s wavy, romantic guitar line, is a particular highlight. In the verses, Higgs introduces his protagonist: Jennifer, a suicidal woman and possible victim of domestic violence, who yearns for an escape while all exits appear sealed. The despondency of the verses is balanced by a hopeful chorus, as Higgs encourages her to keep looking for a way out. With no clever modular synths or cyborg concepts involved, it’s one of the few songs that isn’t overloaded and, by the way, the only one that confronts trauma with a human heart.
However, the second half of the album cannot be saved. “Metroland,” a sci-fi country track, keeps you barge pole away with its cheesy schmaltz and nonsensical lyrics: “Kevin, can you imagine?/The escalator breathing into a bowl of hydra” Higgs sings. Then there’s “Shark Week,” which contains frankly inexcusable lines like “He’s Obama on the streets but he thinks he’s Osama in the sheets.” You would expect these to be the work of the AI. Maybe they’re just an excuse to bring along some kind of cool gadget: Higgs told Apple Music that Robertshaw suggested he write a song using certain chords, “because he had a special synth that did cool things with chords that had four notes in a they.” Higgs tries to balance the madness of the verses with seemingly sincere refrains (“You think you’ve got the whole world under your control? When you’ve got no one, no one at all”), but the sweet, catchy refrains just gel in the middle. of all that. wannabe acid wit.
Raw Data Sensation It might be the most confident album Everything Everything has ever released, but in a way that feels deeply arrogant. If this album were a person, it would be that pompous, talkative philosophy student who treats seminars like drawn-out soliloquies, believing in his ability to impart momentous truths, even though he doesn’t actually say much. That guy can be endearing; he is energetic and has an infectious interest in the effects of technology on the human spirit. But when it comes to expressing his ideas, much less his own emotions, he has a long way to go, not unlike the neural network Higgs used to write his lyrics.
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