Q (UK) - - Q Review -

For the Manch­ester art-rock­ers’ fourth LP, they chan­nel Black­pool hip-hop and ’ 90s elec­tron­ica.

When Ev­ery­thing Ev­ery­thing ar­rived in the late noughties it was with a jolt. Their call­ing card was a dis­parate, in­tri­cate sound – R&B wrapped around math rock, pop and elec­tron­ica and tied up with falsetto vo­cals. It was an eclec­ti­cism that car­ried their de­but Man Alive and con­tin­ued across its suc­ces­sors, 2013’ s Arc and Get To Heaven, re­leased two years later. Per­haps the great­est sur­prise about their fourth al­bum, A Fever Dream, then is that its songs should sound so uni­fied. This is not to sug­gest that Ev­ery­thing Ev­ery­thing’s sound has faded to a palat­able beige, rather that for the first time there seems to be a con­tin­u­ous sonic thread run­ning through ev­ery track. Nat­u­rally, the par­tic­u­lar co­he­sive sound they have cho­sen is it­self a lit­tle jar­ring. The band dig deep into the mu­sic of their ado­les­cence for a mar­riage of ’ 90s sounds: a warm-syn­thed, Warp-records elec­tron­ica wed­ded to a scruffy Amer­i­can-gui­tar-band fury. It makes for a vis­ceral and pleas­ingly dance­able com­bi­na­tion, par­tic­u­larly on the six-minute ti­tle track and lead sin­gle Can’t Do. But there are mo­ments of quiet poise here too, no­tably the soft tones of New Deep, which pro­vides nec­es­sary respite. It would be mis­lead­ing to call this record po­lit­i­cal, but cer­tainly it seems freighted by the times; the al­bum’s ti­tle, and the re­cur­rent ref­er­ences to sleep­ing, wak­ing, night­mares, the dawn, bring a rest­less, un­set­tling qual­ity that re­flects the un­com­fort­able un­pre­dictabil­ity of the last 12 months. A Fever Dream feels like a very spe­cial al­bum – it rests on the band’s great mu­si­cal loves, it holds a com­pas­sion and a cu­rios­ity, it knows when to dance and when to strike a more mea­sured pace. It might just be Ev­ery­thing Ev­ery­thing’s most hu­man record to date. HHHH LAURA BAR­TON Lis­ten To: Ivory Tower | New Deep | A Fever Dream

Ev­ery­thing Ev­ery­thing (Jonathan Higgs, cen­tre): “OK, lads, Eyes Wide Shut sex party here we come…”

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