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Simple Math
Manchester Orchestra
Purchase Online
Reviewed: 5/18/2011 by Ryan


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My colleague Peter Fenn noted that the new Manchester Orchestra album feels more directed and poignant. After listening to the album I can’t help but agree. The band’s Columbia debut “Means Everything to Nothing” was crazy. It was sporadic and unpredictable in nearly every way imaginable. “Simple Math” is vastly different from the band’s last album. The song structures have more of a traditional formula to them and the band has a very odd (but very cool) folk/psychedelic rock thing going on during a lot of these songs. Just because this album is so different doesn’t make it better or worse than “Means Everything to Nothing”, it’s just altogether different. The long and drawn-out instrumental sections of songs are toned down and the songs are more about what Andy Hull is singing … which really makes sense because it is a concept album about Hull’s life. If these songs are about Hull’s life doesn’t it make more sense for them to be an actual story and not just a soundtrack? The instrumentals are toned down, but the emphasis on the songs brings a new dimension to the band. Manchester Orchestra didn’t make the same album twice, something that sounds harder than it is. Here’s hoping the next album is as different as this one and that these guys keep growing into something epic.

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