Ages and Ages

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Divisionary Review

by Scott Kerr

AgesandAges took their time working on this follow-up to their joyous 2011 debut Alright You Restless, and despite the loss of close friends and family members, the band -- led by Tim Perry -- found that the best way to combat the darkness was through their celebratory, affirming music. What underlies the handclaps and radiant melodies on their sophomore album Divisionary are songs that noticeably delve deeper into philosophical and darker themes than the wide-eyed optimism that engulfed their debut, and marks the evolution the band have undergone. Still, ever the optimist, Perry's lyrics often end up dealing with letting go of painful memories by taking a step back and trying to move on as they sing together "…and the weight that we left behind/we're all better off without it" on "The Weight Below." The outfit is made up of seven musicians, all of whom sing, and they waste no time delivering their wonderful multi-part vocals on opener "Light Goes Out." It's an obvious statement of intent, and one that sets the tone for the uplifting sound that takes over the majority of the album. The group vocals at times nod to the call-and-response techniques found in gospel music, as on the worldly sounding "Over It," while there are more indie-inspired moments on the breezy, country-tinged "I See More." Still evident here is the exuberance that AgesandAges bring to their music, but this time around, a sense of melancholy and drama sits alongside their soaring pop sensibilities and anthemic choruses, with "Calamity Is Overrated" bringing some welcomed respite from the exultation and a brief moment of reflection after the joyful moments that precede it. The title track and album ender closes the record perfectly with Perry questioning the inner struggles that everybody experiences on a daily basis, and asks purely to "do the right thing." This is the message that AgesandAges want everybody to take away from listening to their music, and for the most part, Divisionary is likely to succeed in that.

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