I am fucking guilty of thinking what everybody else is going to think while listening to this album: sloppily pointing out the influences they hear. I'm no different. I just can't help it and I'm stooping to that level. Below is my thought process.
Track 1 (Fear and Trembling). The piano and slurry like singing of story telling lyrics is some Springsteen shit or some version of American Pie. But a more modern version of American Pie because nobody takes a Chevy to the Levee anymore. All the fucking levees are dry because of climate change and kids these days drive their parents' second hand Hyundais with the 100k mile warranties and 5 star safety ratings. Anyhoo, the song has a vibe like you want to be at a piano bar somewhere drunk and singing along. And then the song slowly crashes into wall of horns and say to yourself.....yep, that's totes Bruce. BUT WAIT.....the song takes a 180 and all the sudden your head's up your ass and you're frantically fumbling for your phone to see if you are still on track 1 (or even the same album) because what just went from Springsteen got some FUCKING BALLS and now sounds like a punk track with a catchy chorus: GONNA GET, GET, GET, GET BACK TO THE SUMMER!!!!
Track 2 (What Can I Do If The Fire Is Out?). Holy fuck the drums are pounding my chest like and giving me the feeling of rage I felt when I first hear 'The Rat' by The Walkmen. And what happened to that deep raspy voice? The singer now sounds like Brandon Flowers. What the fuck is going on???
Track 3 (Atlas Drowned). YES. This song is licking the dirt off my chode with a coarse tongue. It sounds like track 2, and I dig where this album is going. I'm on board for the rest.
Track 4 (Keep Me In The Open). Wait. Where did the punk go? This still sounds great, but now sounds like the National. This assholes voice is so fucking versatile.
Track 5 (L'imaginaire). An instrumental now? An instrumental that sounds like 'Sweet Child O Mine' scored for strings????
Track 6 (Do Not Let Your Spirit Wane). Oh helllllllll, that transition into this track was so smoov, bro. Shit is euphoric right now. (6 minutes in) OH MAN OH MAN OH MAN, are my pants getting tighter or is it just......uh oh I need to tie my flannel around my waist so that it covers up my crotch piece. The jump into the climax has such a David Gilmour feel to it. And I don't mean it in the sense that they are ripping off Gilmour, but the guitarist captures that ability to make a small selection of notes sound so meaningful and full. Some guitarists can play fast and some guitarist can cut your legs off at the knee with a bend of just one note. AND fuck, the guitar is only just a small part of the build on this tracks surrounded by killer drums and synth, yet, I can't help focusing on it.
Okay. Okay, Okay. I think you get the idea. I'm not going to do this shit for every track (there's 16 of these fuckers) even though I really, really want to say track 11 is like ELO making love to Franz Ferdinand in a sweaty sauna.
The overall and bigger point I'm trying to make about Gang of Youths is: don't put Baby in the corner, bro. Don't be that bro or sis bro who lazily recommends this album to your friends after you ultimately fall in love with it by saying 'It kinda sounds like The National' or 'It kinda sounds like The Killers' or 'It kinda sounds like the baby derived from Matt Beringer and Brandon Flowers trying to suckle on the droopy old man teet of Bruce Springsteen.'
This album, this band, is so much more. It sounds like everything I mentioned, plus the kitchen sink, plus the instrumental string pieces that reminded me I need to watch the last season of The Leftovers I have taking up space on my DVR.
The album makes you rage. It makes you feel. It's cinematic. It's production is yuge. It's versatile. And at an hour and fucking 17 minutes the album is long, but is still girthy enough to want to jam in your ear holes repeatedly and frequently.
Now, go listen and obsess with me.