When the Music first arrived in 2002 with their self-titled debut album, the British bandmates were barely 18 years old. They spent the next two years winning over the U.K. press and touring the globe. Such a time was both overwhelming and exciting for the Music. They were playing the coveted U.K. music festivals like they'd always dreamed of and touring America with Coldplay, however the media's rage on controversial world events fueled a cynical societal reaction. Rob Harvey (vocals), Phil Jordan (drums), Adam Nutter (guitar) and Stuart Coleman (bass) wasted no time questioning such chaos, hence the making of their second album Welcome to the North. Produced by Brendan O'Brien, Welcome to the North finds the Music's ambitious blend of post-grunge and space rock much hungrier and angrier than its predecessor. It's much more cohesive and direct compared to older dance numbers such as "Getaway" and "Take the Long Road and Walk It." This newfound focus reflects the Music's personal and professional maturation -- a therapeutic perspective of their humble upbringing in Leeds to their awareness of what's going on around them. The anthemic guitar-driven title track and the worldbeat grooves of "Bleed From Within" leaves the Music asking questions in hopes that their quest for some kind of spiritual stability will be real. Nutter's spiraling guitar work matches Harvey's rapid-fire vocals on "Cessation," a fiery moment defining something that brings or comes to an end. "Freedom Fighters" is the close as you're going to get to the pastiche of "People" and "The Truth Is No Words," but that's because of confidence. The Music's signature danceable stretch is still there, but it's stripped down for a more thoughtful rock design. Fans who couldn't get enough of The Music's dance fever might not take an immediate liking to Welcome to the North. Not to worry, the style and passion remain the same -- it's just a bit more uniform.
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AllMusic Review by MacKenzie Wilson