Everything Everything A Fever Dream RCA
With the erratic nature of their divisive art-rock, Everything Everything have always been hard to pin down. From their 2010 debut Man Alive and their sophomore album The Arc, the band’s indefinable eccentricity – loudly expressed by Jonathan Higgs’s emotive falsetto cries – was no doubt a huge factor in their success. But third album Get To Heaven saw a musical shift closer to the centre, and the move seemed to pay off in terms of both critical and commercial success.
On A Fever Dream, emotions are largely melancholic and subjects are broadly political – at one point Higgs even sings about blackface over a fast-paced snare drum. But building chords, classic formats and some easily anticipated drops make the album a guaranteed crowd pleaser. While a great feat for the band, it may leave you searching for the creative risks which made them stand out in the first place.
But on Desire, the Manchester-based band reach an artistic peak, crafting a detailed sonic landscape that is simultaneously chaotic and completely ordered. Night of the Long Knives brings a familiar sense of foreboding and violence, also commenting on our current age, as corruption and immorality are unravelled in our own governments. “It’s coming,” Higgs whispers, “Say goodbye to your neighbourhood”.
There are moments of innovation as A Fever Dream ends, winding down with glitchy samples and muted ambient production. But for the most part Everything Everything bizarrely sound like club remix versions of their own songs. And the disconnect between the noticeably safer tracks and the dystopic lyrics invites a little cynicism.