Technically the third album by the American band, but the second major release, sees them expanding on the 60’s sound with youthful exuberance. It is hard to listen to this album without drawing comparisons to last year’s excellent Lonerism, showing that psychedelia will likely once again rank among the year’s strongest releases. More pop than rock, they manage to balance soft and heavy moments effectively to create a rigid sound whilst remaining easy listening. The vocals are excellent throughout, the instrumentation lively, and the lyrics at times are very strong.
Album standout “No Destruction” is a roller-coaster, effortlessly flowing from breezy pop to experimental rock at will, and is a perfect showcase for their talents. It also contains gems such as “There’s no need to be an asshole, you’re not in Brooklyn anymore”. The ludicrously playful “San Francisco” which carelessly bounces along to a merry tune, captivates towards the middle of the record and is suitable precursor to the interlude at the centre of the We Are the… The desperate but entrancing highlight “Shuggie” is yet another track which constantly changes genres within its duration, as a disillusioned narrative is backed by disorientating tempo changes and obtrusive sounds and landscapes.
The album’s best track is the stellar “Oh Yeah”, switches from provocative verses to falsetto-laden croons in the chorus, before a terribly addicting breakdown post-chorus. The hook is without doubt the most memorable on the record, “How come you’ve got to make a fool of me?” The incredibly summery title track then follows that, with the vocals at their most unrestrained, and the instruments at their wildest.
“Do you think we’ll be somebody?” Is asked in the closer “Oh No 2”, and it’s fair to say after this effort that the question seems rather rhetorical. A joyous voyage into the wilderness that is psychedelic music, but tinged with the unpredictability of experimental rock, We Are the… is going to be one of the best albums of 2013. “Cause it’s a bummer in the summertime, but everyone’s gonna have a real good time”, they lecture. I could disagree because we know not everyone does have a good time, but with this album being my summer soundtrack for the foreseeable future, I know I will be.
Verdict – 8.6
Top Songs – “No Destruction”, “Shuggie”, “Oh Yeah”