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Everything Everything - 'MY KZ UR BF'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:44 UK time, Thursday, 19 August 2010

Everything Everything

So, we all know Hurts are reissuing 'Wonderful Life', right? This is largely because their album is imminent, and people are really going for their wartime chic and their doomy synthpop and their general air of bookish sheep in steely wolves' clothing. For them to reissue one of their defining moments (so far) makes a lot of sense. It's not a very haughty thing to do, and that seems a little out of character, but I'm sure we'll all muddle through.

In the meantime, this astonishing collective are also re-releasing an early single, in order to promote their album - it's called 'Man Alive'. And, sad to say, they seem to be getting only a fraction of the response that their fellow synthpoppers are.

For the LIFE of me, I cannot see why this should be the case.

(Here's the video. It's got gauntlets in.)

OK, so the verses are a little twiddly, this could alienate a few confused ears. And they do seem to be musically in a hurry to rush on to their next idea sometimes. But everything (everything) is redeemed by that chorus. A chorus which is just plain perfect. A chorus which doesn't even have to make sense to Make Sense. A chorus which also happens contains one of the best throwaway pop lyrics of the new millennium, namely:

"I wanna know what happened to your boyfriend
Cos he was looking at me like 'whoah!'"

I'll repeat that, in case you didn't quite feel the magnificence the first time around:

"I wanna know what happened to your boyfriend
Cos he was looking at me like 'whoah!'"

C'mon, that's amazing. It possibly helps if you hear it sung, but even so, "he was looking at me like 'whoah!'"? Who has the NERVE to write a lyric like that? The sheer GALL of it is astonishing. The brilliant glee of whacking some daft slang in the middle of a densely constructed, angular pop song. And this from a band who are more than comfortable singing about a Faraday cage, or constructing a properly meaty image like "I'm watching the A4 paper taking over the guillotine".

And even if they weren't good with the words, that chorus, that glorious chorus! It's at the exact opposite end of the scale to what Hurts are doing. It's kind of goofy and silly, and floppy of limb instead of haughty and reserved. And it comes after those verses, which can be a little like a musical assault course, although they're a lot more pop than they seem on first listen. There is that pillowy close-harmony bit, after all. Everything (everything) about this song, apart from the title, is massively accessible and friendly. And this may be the problem.

I wonder if the band's innate awkwardness is preventing their wider success. It's like no-one really knows what they want. The verses demand approval from chin-strokey art-rock-snobs, the chorus wants to teach the world to sing. And the two things are sadly incompatible, partly because of the snob thing, but also because the world can't sing the verses without spitting its teeth out.

In any case, this is why nothing else seems quite good enough right now. It's basically exactly what great pop music is all about, and yet it probably won't go to No.1. We should all be ashamed.

Or grateful. It's so hard to tell.

Five starsDownload: Out now

BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)

Popwreckoning says: "Expect big things from these Northerners."

Popped Music says: "You would certainly not say this was electro in the same sense as you would bands such as Klaxons who certainly have used similar instrumentation to achieve a very different sound."

Drowned In Sound's Wendy Roby says: "Sometimes there are bands you want to give two marks to - one for their high goals, and one for how successfully they have netted them...To my mind Everything Everything get a starred-A for both."


  • Comment number 1.

    UK Top 40 This Week Amount of YouTube views- they have had
    Club Can't Handle Me- 8.25 millions views
    Love The Way You Lie- 47.4 million
    Missing You- 1.4 million
    We No Speak Americano- 11.2 million
    Beautiful Monster- 4.7 million
    Billionaire- 29.5 million
    Airplanes- 34.3 million
    All Time Low- 2.9 million
    Pack Up- 1.3 million
    In My System 715,480 thousund
    One (Your Name) 6.3 million
    California Gurls- 36.4 million
    What If- 1.5 million
    I Need Air- 1.1 million
    Kickstarts- 3.6 million
    Choices- 417,622 thousand
    I Like It- 18.2 million
    Bang Bang Bang- 1.6 million
    The Writer: 443,166 thousand
    DJ Got Us Falling In Love- N.A/ No Music Video
    Commander- 8.2 million
    Alejandro- 66.7 million
    Stereo Love- 60 million
    Not Afraid- 79.9 million
    Just Be Good To Green- 2.2 million
    Gold Dust- 667,213 thousand
    Gettin'Over You- 29.7 million
    Prayin' 988,373 thousund
    Frisky- 2.6 million
    Brainwashed- 571,033 thousand
    The Club Is Alive- 3.5 million
    Find Your Love- 25.2 million
    Hey,Soul Sister- 14.5 million
    OMG- 5.7 million
    My First Kiss- 5 million
    She Said- 8.2 million
    Ridin' Solo- 23.4 million
    Waka Waka- 12 million
    Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart-7.6 million

    What do you think of these stats of the Top 40 videos viewed on YouTube people? I like to hear your views.

  • Comment number 2.

    Amazing song, loved when I first it and so glad it's now getting re-released. Probably won't fair as well as the Hurts song but I hope it can make it to the top 40 at least, if not I'm ashamed of the British buying public once again.

  • Comment number 3.

    LOVE these guys, and have loved this song since the first time it was out!

    Won't be buying the single though, waiting for the album. Maybe they're more of an album band than a singles band?

  • Comment number 4.

    I could see this album being critically acclaimed and getting heaps of awards.

  • Comment number 5.

    "Accessible and friendly"? "Goofy and silly"? Um... do you even know what the song is about?!

  • Comment number 6.

    Great band, saw them at Glasto and they out performed a lot of bigger acts in my eyes.

    I like the original video for this better.


  • Comment number 7.

    When I hear a song by a 'new band' on Radio 1, I usually don't take much interest - especially on the first play, but this one caught me straight away, when it was playlisted the first time. Completely brilliant in every way.

    I agree though, it's funny how Hurts are being much talked about with their re-issue, yet this one seems to be being overlooked.

    Album is getting rave reviews, and judging by this single alone I'm definitely going to give it a good listen when it's out.

  • Comment number 8.

    @ 6

    Sorry to be pedantic but the video in Fraser's post is actually the original, the one you linked is the new video which I also prefer.

  • Comment number 9.

    Haha thanks harrythedog. I confused myself along the way somehow. But yep it's much better.

  • Comment number 10.

    Everyone needs to listen to the Clock OPera remix of this track.

  • Comment number 11.

    Fantastic song , fantastic video , fantastic chorus , fantastic vocal performance .

    Has a pop-dance sensibility like Friendly Fires at their peak , and that's a huge compliment .


  • Comment number 12.

    The album's streaming on Myspace for anyone whose interested, I'm listening now.

  • Comment number 13.

    Ah thanks for that, I'll defo give it a good few plays through this week

  • Comment number 14.

    Man Alive sounds like it has the potential to be a very good record but it needs some time to grow on me I think, at the moment it all feels a bit cluttered on a few tracks. Final Form sounds brilliant though.

    My Premature Evaluation - Good not great


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