You Me At Six - 'VI' Album Review
1. Fast Forward
2. Straight To My Head
3. Back Again
4. Miracle In The Mourning
6. I O U
7. Pray For Me
10. Losing You
You Me At Six are back for another studio album and this one is huge! 'VI' is out now, here is what they had to say and what the album sounds like.
They needed something unbelievable to happen with 'VI', because by their own admission it didn’t happen with their last album, 'Night People', released in February 2017. As a band, they were too tied up with their own business affairs, they didn’t write the songs to do their talent justice, and they created an album they felt was too samey, too linear, always travelling in one direction.
Before the writing process it wasn’t just that something had to change. Everything had to change. New label – they now have their own label via AWAL/Kobalt – new management, new work ethic. Before 'Night People', they hadn’t written any songs for three years, which they think was a contributory factor to the album’s flatness. That said, Helyer suggests, it was a necessary record – “It was a step in a different direction for us, musically. It was a breach, and every band needs to have that record where they make a breach.”
'VI' was about opening that breach, and letting the full scope of their creativity flood through. They began writing as soon as they had finished 'Night People', but things really started to catch fire last November, when they went for a writing session with Eg White, whose versatility has seen him write with and for Adele, Linkin Park, Florence + The Machine and Kylie, among scores of others. That first session yielded immediate returns in the shape of ‘Losing You’ and ‘Fast Forward’, the album’s opening track, and one of its two lead songs, along with ‘3AM’. Helyer and White had been watching a clip of Radiohead at the Grammys playing ‘15 Step’, which gave Helyer the idea for a riff. “I said, ‘Let’s get heavy and industrial on those electronics, make it uncomfortable listening.”
Onto the album and “Fast Forward” brings the classic You Me At Six sound of huge chorus and placing guitar and vocals right at the centre. This track has everything you’d ever want from the band - this opening track showcases this album overall. Next up is “Straight Into My Head” a soft track, the vocals are emotional from lead vocalist Josh throughout. It’s also well produced, versus are perfectly placed and tense build ups are what is needed - a positive upbeat sound.
So “Back Again” has a focus on lead guitar, it’s funky and makes you want to get up and boogy the night away. A example of the new and mature You Me At Six in 2018. Now time for the tense “Miracle In The Morning” - it’s another track where YMAS have proven they can push barriers and still have an effect on the music industry even after over 10 years in the business.
Swinging into huge single “3AM” - it’s back to that groove we heard earlier, the more you listen to the album the more it grows on you. Catchy lyrics which will be stuck in my head for days is what YMAS are good at and they’ve done it again!
Former Athlete frontman Joel Pott also came on board to write. Helping out on ‘3AM’ – the group were rejuvenated by the outside contributions. “It’s about accepting there isn’t just one route to the end goal,” Franceschi says. “We embraced that idea. We’re creative people and we want to learn from other creative people. You want to improve, not stagnate, and maybe Night People was creatively quite stagnant. Bringing in new people with fresh ideas, ideas we’d never have, has been so exciting.”
“I O U” creates a Jazz feel to a Rock track, it’s deep sound could sit in a Jazz bar in the background. Ending with rough edge, it’s refreshing to hear something different.
Sliding into “Pray For Me” - it’s forward thinking, the Surrey lads have created a timeless sound with 'VI'. This track give the band a huge step in the right direction, we will listening to You Me At Six for another 10 years if they keep producing tracks like this. Get your groove back on with “Predictable” - that bass line is ever present but doesn’t get repetitive, it entices you. “Predicable” gives the prefect balance of old and new, maybe this should have been the opening track?
Time for “Danger”, it’s high tempo makes your head bounce and with an amazing chorus, it’s my favourite track off the album. Finishing with the peaceful “Losing You” - its influenced RnB background beat is something else different. “Losing You” pulls on heart strings with each note and word sung.
'VI' has reshaped You Me At Six into a band with a fresh unique sound. They have once again produced an album which is forward thinking but 'VI' is timeless.
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Review - Jake Williams