Manchester Orchestra successfully rebrands with their fifth studio album
Andy Hull and the rest of Manchester Orchestra just released a new album full of intense lyrics and the right amount of production to make A Black Mile To The Surface one of the top albums of the year. The band is reinventing rock into something worth listening to again. Ian Cohen, a contributor for Pitchfork, recently reviewed the album and said, “There’s a hole in the ‘rock is dead’ argument that can’t be filled by merely rattling off the buzziest indie bands of the moment, or reclassifying pop acts like One Direction or Twenty One Pilots. The dream of the ’90s lives when Manchester Orchestra is on—a time when the Smashing Pumpkins, Hole, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam lorded over MTV and radio with emotionally conflicted, undeniably hooky, and loud rock.”
The group from Atlanta, Georgia looks to change their style from a heavy emo rock in their first few albums to a more adult indie rock on this latest album. The new album is the first release since the somewhat disappointing album in Cope. And that was over three years ago. Because Cope didn’t live up to expectations, Manchester Orchestra looks to rebrand but attempts to start where Simple Math (their third studio album) left off. A Black Mile To The Surface has had plenty of praise since its release in late July. A user on Metacritic named “Kerrang!” wrote, “This is a painstakingly composed work of art–and an absolute masterpiece at that.” AllMusic contributor Matt Collar wrote, “Based on the nuanced opacity of these lyrics and the artful moodiness of the music, the answer will likely remain an elusive puzzle for listeners to ponder. Thankfully, Manchester Orchestra have made an album well worth pondering over.”
Music is art. That’s something often forgotten. The problem arises when we don’t appreciate music in such a light. In some ways, it’s the forgotten art. The beauty of art through music can come in many ways. Hull’s lyrics are an art in themselves. But melodies bring art to life and Manchester Orchestra gives a range of emotional sounds from sinister rock in “Lead, SD” to calming folk in “The Alien.” Each song paints a masterpiece with lyrics, sounds and emotions, giving a wide array of colors and subject matter to listeners. Manchester Orchestra’s art was once so dark and gloomy but now gives a blinding light to make something more powerful and more unique than their previous albums, and more unique than other bands. One can hope Hull and Manchester Orchestra have found their permanent sound, and make more albums like this one.
The album is something special and doesn’t leave anything to be desired. Listen to A Black Mile To The Surface on Spotify, iTunes and other listening platforms.