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Monday, September 25, 2023

Life + Arts

‘Everything’ raises bar


After releasing the very short EP Let My Pride Be What’s Left Behind to tide over fans, Manchester Orchestra has released the crowning achievement that is its second album, Mean Everything to Nothing.

The album exceeds expectations, especially after its debut, I’m Like a Virgin Losing a Child, set an unprecedented bar for the Georgia band.

The band faced obvious pressure for this release. It could have easily capitalized on the formula that brought it the mild success of its first album, but the band managed to take guitar-driven sensible songs like ‘Wolves at Night’ and ‘Now That You’re Home’ and create a sound similar to bands like the Foo Fighters and Weezer, only better.

The first track, ‘The Only One’, starts off with a smoothly-executed crescendo into one of this album’s best sing-along songs. Likewise with the album’s lead single ‘I’ve Got Friends.’

Vocalist Andy Hull has a diverse range as it is, but with songs like the hostile ‘Shake It Out’ and the very Nirvana-esque ‘In My Teeth,’ Hull possesses a growl we’ve yet to hear on any Manchester Orchestra song thus far.

Strangely, the song that is most similiar to their previous efforts, ‘I Can Feel a Hot One,’ is one of the album’s biggest standouts. The track appeared on the EP, but isn’t any less stellar this time around. It’s also nearly impossible not to bob your head and feel the snarl of the guitar riffs and heavy bass drum kicks of ‘Pride.”

Mean Everything to Nothing is nearly perfect, save for the misguided lyrical direction of ‘100 Dollars.’ Thankfully, it is the album’s shortest, most obnoxious and least significant song – at least they knocked all of those out in one track. Besides this, there are very few slip-ups on the album.’

With Mean Everything to Nothing, Manchester Orchestra has expanded and revitalized its own sound, which had only previously tugged on the heartstrings of listeners and meddled with what indie-rock really has to offer.

Mean Everything to Nothing is not only a suitable follow-up, but also a rock album full of energy and earnest truth so many have been searching for.’

Manchester Orchestra
Mean Everything to Nothing
Record Label: Favorite Gentleman Records
Release Date: April 21, 2009
Verdict: An improved sound deserves an immediate listening.


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