Manchester Orchestra, 'Simple Math' (Favorite Gentlemen/Columbia)

Simple Math
Critical Mass
Release Date: May 10, 2011
Label: Favorite Gentlemen/Columbia

by David Menconi

Andy Hull, Manchester Orchestra's 23-year-old wunderkind leader, has been making shockingly precocious records for years. But his band's third full-length is an old-fashioned magnum opus of a concept album, detailing a nervous breakdown with epic glam-rock gestures. Hull's greatest skill is making his emotions sound as extravagant as they feel, especially when he screams. His life is melting down, music is all he's got left, and when he shouts the defiant money shot of "April Fool" - "I've got that rock and that roll!" - he almost makes it seem like enough.

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