Manchester Orchestra – Simple Math

Goodness do I love free, streaming albums. Over the past week there have been two free album streams of bands I like. This could even challenge Christmas as “the most wonderful time of the year” (See Andy Williams). What better way to study for finals is there than to listen to a new album online for free? Actually, there are much better ways because I found I was often very distracted by that, but I still enjoyed a lot.

Manchester Orchestra’s third album, Simple Math does not disappoint. Starting somewhat slow with “Deer”, the album then makes a sudden turn for the semi-hard tone that Manchester loves to work in. My favorites on the album were “Pensacola”, “April Fool”, and the single “Simple Math”. Before I woke up to realize the album was available for streaming, I purchased Simple Math on Amazon and was actually quite happy to only have that. Discovering the whole album after that teaser was simply fantastic.

Andy Hull is always pretty angry at something in his albums. I don’t know if I readily recall lyrics that are overwhelmingly joyous. But even so, his songs create a call to action or some sort of great awakening and you just want to jump aboard and pump your fist in a rally against…whatever the heck he’s rallying against. It helps also when the music sounds great. On a different note, a lot of the guitar work sounds almost exactly the same as the band’s prior album Mean Everything to Nothing. I’m wholly against that; it was interesting to hear something I’m familiar with even on a new album and expect what might be the musical response to a starting phrase.

Angry or not, the important thing to get out of all of this is that I like Simple Math by Manchester Orchestra. Check it out, it’s streaming on their website. http://www.columbiarecords.com/simplemath/

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