Co-produced by the band and Stuart Price, who previously produced records for Scissor Sisters, the Killers, and Pet Shop Boys, Everything Everything's third full-length album is a dance-friendly if serious-minded set showcasing their British art rock sensibilities via a through-line of vigor. While grooving and uptempo throughout -- with melodic percussion, electric guitar solos, and far-reaching melodies infusing persistent beats -- Get to Heaven is above all mired in its time; its angst-ridden lyrics acknowledge and often examine the (seemingly ineffectual) culture of technology, including 24-hour social and corporate media, amidst life's continued tragedies and injustice. The album's opening line hits the listener with the sparsely accompanied "So you think there's no meaning/In anything that we do?" "To the Blade" later bursts into guitar-heavy, rhythmic synth rock, both catchy and agitated, like much to follow. The pounding "Regret" takes on the anxiety of one tuned in to the contemporary Western First World: "Maybe I'm a human/A trying to click 'undo' man/Or maybe an automaton/Oh how'd it all go so wrong?" and "First you'll see me on the news/Then never again/I'm rolling in my grave/Feeling like a grenade." The song goes on to muse that perhaps it's not as bad for someone who never hoped for anything better. The title track similarly tackles the headlines with dark humor and cutting observation: "There's bodies in the road!/Where nothing else will grow!/I'm thinking 'What was my password?' as the vultures land." The lyrical despondency is wrapped in entirely digestible, brightly colored musical packages with Jonathan Higgs' distinctive, frenetic falsetto over shimmering, bouncy terrain. Less capricious than prior releases but still diverse (the rap-led "Distant Past," orchestral synths of "Fortune 500," and alternately clubby, poppy, and ambient sections of "The Wheel [Is Turning Now]), Get to Heaven's experimental dance-rock hits closer to Blur than oft-compared XTC or Radiohead, with its more lucid production and sardonic tone. The lyrical content, along with the album's constant energy, make this Everything Everything's most focused effort thus far, one that bundles brawny indie rock with 2010s Zeitgeist.
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AllMusic Review by Marcy Donelson