Review: You Me At Six – Night People

Night People is available now via Infectious Music.

It’s been nearly three years since music fans have been treated to a new album from British rockers You Me At Six, and now the UK lads are back with what could possibly be their most diverse album to date.

One thing old-school You Me At Six fans will notice upon listening to Night People is the amount of styles the band have opted to include in the release. This is nothing different, as they tested out this method with 2011’s Sinners Never Sleep, but this time around, there seems to be a focus on two core genres: the alt-rock they’re known for and a sort of indie-rock that’s reminiscent of the likes of The Black Keys and Arctic Monkeys. At times, this works in the band’s favour; other times, it lands them in the generic.

Let’s start with where the album falls flat. Tracks like the album’s title track, ‘Swear’ and ‘Can’t Hold Back’ are those that sound the least like You Me At Six, falling into that Arctic Monkeys/The Black Keys territory we discussed earlier. It’s not that they’re necessarily bad songs – they just seem out of place in the album, especially considering the type of music You Me At Six typically release. On the other end of the spectrum, there’s ‘Spell It Out’, which feels out of place with its soft sound and slow tempo. However, it’s important to note that the band normally include a slow interlude in their albums, as seen with Sinners Never Sleep (‘When We Were Younger’) and Hold Me Down (‘Fireworks’).

From there, the album is pretty much golden. Those looking for a heavier rock sound need look no further than the likes of ‘Plus One’ and ‘Heavy Soul’ with their melodic, yet hard hitting rock. For those looking for some old-school You Me At Six have ‘Brand New’ and ‘Make Your Move’, which will transport them back to the Take Off Your Colours and Hold Me Down eras. And finally, the album isn’t without its superb lyrical content, as seen in ‘Take On The World’ and ‘Give’, the latter of which is arguably the best track on Night People. It’s soft where it needs to be and loud when necessary, a tactic that works well with frontman Josh Franceschi’s vocals. It’s the perfect closing track.

Is Night People You Me At Six’s best album to date? Yes… and no. While lyrically and sonically, the band are at their best, there are many instances throughout where it feels like they’re still finding their sound. Moving from indie rock to alt-rock, pop-rock to rock, it’s an album where the tracks by themselves are stellar, but when put together feel a bit jumbled and lost.

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