By Ryan Asselin
Last week, Manchester Orchestra released their fourth studio album, Cope, and the best album released in 2014, so far.
Cope is Manchester Orchestra’s signature sound on steroids, with guitar-heavy, cymbal-crashing goodness showing that there are blurred lines between indie rock and alternative rock.
The album backed up lead singer Andy Hull’s claim of an “unrelenting and unapologetic” loud rock album.
The band from Atlanta was not always simply power chord or palm mute; their prior releases were softer and more in line with Andy Hull’s soft singing style. In Cope, Hull’s voice blends with the heaviness of the album uniquely and grippingly, which is shown in earlier songs like “Virgin,” from 2011’s Simple Math. Even with many songs sounding extremely similar on their most recent album, each is individual and there is not a disappointing track on the entire album.
“And I hope if there is one thing I let go, it is the way that we cope.” Andy Hull’s voice haunts the album’s titular final track. The topics of the songs on the album are what we have grown to expect of Manchester Orchestra, from divorce and death to apathy, yet broad, cryptic lyrics can still leave listeners interpreting the songs independently. “We all believed in ghosts until you walked into the wall,” is sung during the first song on the album, “Top Notch.”
The song, which was actually written about young boys dying in a burning house, can be relatable to anything, with lyrics like:
“Did it really matter how it happened when it did, ‘cause when it happened, you reacted with an apathetic wind.”
Forcing a full spectrum of emotions, Manchester Orchestra’s most recent album could quite possibly be their most well-rounded, well-written release to date.
Since taking indie rock by storm with 2006’s I’m Like a Virgin Losing a Child and opening for Brand New, Manchester Orchestra has grown to be a Southern indie favorite.
Musical mastermind Andy Hull has released another gem with Cope. Expect a lot more talented work to come from Hull in the future, as he grows with his fame. Hopefully it won’t take another three years to hear from Hull and Manchester Orchestra again.