After the brilliance that was Hellogoodbye‘s 2011 release, Would It Kill You?, I was very keen and anxious for Everything Is Debatable. I’m not going to lie, after the first listen I was mildly disappointed. Gone was the stripped back sound and catchy simplicity, and in its place was synth, not automatically catchy melodies and a fuller sound. But this bitter taste would last no longer than one listen.
After putting on the album again with hopes of hearing something different, and also for the fact I had to review it, I discovered something. This album is pretty freaking good. From the Passion Pit sounding title track with its funky guitars and synth/vocal melody that at first is awkward but then becomes catchy as sin, I heard the brilliance of hellogoodbye.
‘Magic Hour Is Now’ has a sense of 70’s summer rock. Steady beats, twangy guitars and falsetto backing vocals bring warmth to this highlight of the album. The dizzying guitars of ‘Summer Of The Lily Pond’ compliment the horn section as Forrest’s reminiscent lyrics paint pictures of love and pain in your head.
Although poppy and catchy Everything Is Debatable also has a very haunting feel about it with ambient production and an almost lingering to some of the songs. Although conflicting, these two styles compliment each other to produce a fresh sound to what could be an over used indie/pop style.
Closing with the cymbal heavy ‘Near Death Experience’, a perfect example of aforementioned combination of styles, Everything Is Debatable borderlines the labelling of a “grower” but proves it is much more than that. As epic as it is poppy, Everything Is Debatable may not better it’s predecessor but it definitely comes close.
Reviewer: Sean Degan