February 25, 2014 You Me At Six – Cavalier Youth (Album review)
Since the mass success of their third album Sinners Never Sleep in 2011, the British group You Me At Six has become a driving force in the music scene for their nontraditional pop-punk sound. The release of their newest album Cavalier Youth capitalizes on this success and produces an enhanced record for their fans. They made the decision to continue on their path of alternative rock, which can drown a few tracks in a sea of regularity, but You Me At Six thrives at enriching their music with fervent beats and hooks, and creates many memorable tracks.
This band has no problem putting individuality in their music. “Fresh Start Fever” fully proves this statement. The track immediately starts with a prominent rhythm guitar and is layered with even more captivating riffs. As the song builds up to the chorus, the instrumentals pick up the pace and supply listeners with an intense drumbeat that dictates the entire track. While the vocals portray this power well, the hooks are mostly delivered in the instrument use. This technique is also used in “Cold Night”. The warm-hearted subtleness of the guitar riffs crescendos into a consistent melody that reflects a romantic sense in the track. This cheery vibe shows development in You Me At Six’s style.
Cavalier Youth also holds strength in noticeable tracks that highlight the exceptional parts of the choruses. “Hope For The Best” is a key example of the stand out vocal melodies that override the track. While most of the track has classic and steady guitar riffs and a smooth tempo, the harmonious style of the refrain creates important distinction. “Win Some, Lose Some” is another track that exhibits You Me At Six’s variation. The powerful chugs of the verses go into a fierce refrain that is unique to the rest of the album. This track presents them in a new light and shows their musical exploration while making this album.
You Me At Six take Cavalier Youth to a few new places. The lightheartedness of “Be Who You Are” is a newly discovered sound that You Me At Six pulls off quite well. Lyrics like, “You are my light in the dark / Don’t change, just be who you are” give off the specific warmness in this song. The affection is heightened by the strong drumbeat underneath a mellow acoustic guitar and soft vocals. This combination encompasses the short, yet valuable moment on this record.
You Me At Six does not produce any “bad” songs on Cavalier Youth, but due to their familiar style, some tracks managed to get lost in their sound and were not benefited by a prominent riff or vocal hook. “Love Me Like You Used To” has the common rhythm of Cavalier Youth and remains catchy and exciting, but lacks the edge that leaves a large impression on listeners. The rhythmic chorus and steady tempo of “Carpe Diem” fails to astound as well. This happens a few times on the album, but does not make the tracks unlistenable by any means.
Overall, You Me At Six have expanded their enjoyable and free spirited music with Cavalier Youth. They advance their pop-punk sound into a more personal and distinct style that appeal to old and new fans. They continue to make their accustomed music stand out with captivating and original hooks in their instrumentals and vocals. With the steady progression that You Me At Six shows in Cavalier Youth, it can be assumed that their success in the music scene will mimic this headway. CrypticRock gives this album 4 out of 5 stars.Review written by Emma Guido