Thanks to plenty of single releases and a vast amount of live dates around the world, the 2011 release of You Me At Six’s third album, Sinners Never Sleep, doesn’t seem all that long ago. Now, just over two years later, the release of Cavalier Youth is just a day away, set to be released on the 27th January 2014.
The album opens with “Too Young To Feel This Old”, which is an instrumentally huge song with heavy emphasis on loud and catchy drum work as well as rhythmic guitar riffs that allows the listener to know that whilst You Me At Six have progressed from their younger years, they have not forgotten their signature sound that caught the attention of so many of their fans. Lyrics such as “we’re not young anymore” even seem to enforce this idea, telling listeners that the band is fully aware of their musical maturity, separating them from their debut work found on Take Off Your Colours, which lead singer Josh Franceschi has publicly admitted to not be the bands greatest work. However, the lyrics still seem to reflect the bands earlier work, with the title lyrics from single “If I Were in Your Shoes” found in “Hope For The Best”, the eighth track from Cavalier Youth, as well as the second single from the album “Fresh Start Fever” housing the same lyrics as “Call That A Comeback”, a single from the band’s first album: “shallow is as shallow does”. Unless the band is a little forgetful with their lyrics, this is most likely a subtle wave to the band’s most loyal fans who have been with them from their first album.
The following two tracks on the album, thanks to the generosity of the band, have already been released for the listening pleasure of their fans. Both “Lived a Lie” and “Fresh Start Fever” (below) have received a healthy amount of air play on radio and television, and showcase the best of the five-piece’s talents with their trade mark heavier pop/rock sound and huge sing-along choruses that are guaranteed to be live favourites. Eighth track “Hope For The Best”, which is particularly reminiscent of Take Off Your Colours, was also previewed by the band towards the end of 2013, leaving only nine out of twelve songs on Cavalier Youth as totally fresh tracks for listeners.
This album showcases the ever-improving vocal work of lead signer Josh Franceschi as well as the musical talents of each band member, particularly by Dan Flint, who contributes skilful drum-work that gives each heavier track a catchy beat that You Me At Six fans have become accustomed to in the band’s work. Cavalier Youth follows a similar sound to the previous album, maintaining the high standard it set. “Room to Breathe”, the fifth track, is one of album’s heavier tracks, with a similar sound to 2012 single “The Swarm”. It demonstrates the rougher side to Franceschi’s versatile voice, whilst tracks such as “Cold Night” and “Forgive and Forget” show the softer more angelic side to his vocal talents, as well as the bands ability to craft a song that sides slightly more towards pop than rock.
“Be Who You Are”, the tenth and shortest track on Cavalier Youth, is the only track on the entirety on the album to offer a sound that is entirely dissimilar to previous work by You Me At Six. The track consists of a dominating atypical drumbeat as well as an upbeat acoustic rhythm that is seldom found in the band’s work. This could be an insight into a new direction the band may take in any potential future creations.
Sinners Never Sleep was certainly an impressive creation in its own right, with numerous singles reaching number one in the UK Rock Chart, as well as charting as a whole in the same position within the same category. It also reached number 3 in the general UK charts, an impressive feat for a pop/rock artist in a music industry dominated by more mainstream artists. Cavalier Youth is undoubtedly a well-crafted creation from the five-piece Surrey boys, and the bands progression from their earlier efforts is becoming increasingly more impressive with each new contribution to the music scene.
As a band who tend to reach more impressive heights with each album they release, we have high hopes for the success of Cavalier Youth and You Me At Six in 2014!
Review by Sophie Weller