So so sorry this is so late. July is nearly over, and alas I’ve been unwell. Anyway, plenty of time to digest this fine album, huh?
I thought this might be a bit more of a curveball after a straight run of albums we’ve all pretty much liked. So I’m dying to know what you think – though from what I’ve heard, you’ve warmed to it to.
EE are an odd proposition – odd to me because I know the bass player Jeremy via his partner Katie. He is a deeply lovely man and I’ve always wanted to like the band more than I actually do. They have so much going for them that I like – that uptight arthouse funk thing is right up my street – anything that descends from the Talking Heads line is going to get my vote. They’re GREAT live, they’re fine musicians, and they know how to write a killer melody.
The insurmountable problem I’ve had in the past is with lead singer Jonathan Higgs’s voice. Male falsetto is always a tricky beast, up high in the register and it can sound pure and unfettered, but lower down the register near the ‘crack’ with the normal voice, it can sound violently horrible. So I’ve heard their music over the past years, and time and time again, I’ve nearly dipped my toe in the water, but something has stopped me. I’ve had a listen on Spotify, and thought to myself – I couldn’t stomach a whole album of this. Same thing happened with Wild Beasts (bought 2 albums, never listen to either).
Something changed when I first heard Distant Past (btw, how crazy is that video? Brilliant and brutal). The moment I heard it, I thought: this is BRILLIANT. And then came Regret. Same. Something had clicked. Maybe his voice has smoothed out, but my god, those choruses. They’re like the best music of your childhood belting out in your head. They’re *irresistible*.
When I first heard the album as a whole, I thought it started incredibly strongly, then faded a bit. As time has gone on – and I’ve played this a LOT – that’s changed. I’m not sure there’s a genuinely weak track on there. And now I’m wondering whether I’ve dismissed their earlier work too quickly – or whether they’ve just hit a new high watermark.
I love the queasy mix of glorious pop melodies and his eloquent, angry and paranoid lyrics. It’s quite overwhelming at times, but hell, we don’t get to say that much about pop music these days. I love it very much. And so, weirdly, do my kids, even though they keep asking me about the lyrics, “Why does he feel like a fat kid in a pushchair?” Good question, kids.
Anyway, over to you. Have Everything Everything got That Something?