Disenfranchisement. Disengagement. Apathy. All beautifully moulded into a twelve track album that will help you revisit the music you forgot you loved.
MANKIND aims to replicate the emotional experience accumulated through a youth perspective that has been rendered helpless in working-class culture. The album kicks off with the hopeful, melody-led Colours. A close listen to the lyrics makes the listener aware of the political tone of the song. The pleasant contrast between the uplifting, intensely catchy music and the solemn lyrical sound echoes the new romantic era of pop culture that rose to fame in the 80s. Hence, POPHITS.
While the album is undoubtedly reminiscent of the Arctic Monkeys during their Favourite Worst Nightmare era, there is a gentler, more subdued consistency in the tempo that lacks the punch and bite of the Monkeys. The uniqueness of the singer’s voice and the range they demonstrate throughout the record sets the group apart from others trying similar endeavours. There is no attempt at imitation to any specific artist, rather an eclectic range of skills. The overall feel remains simplistic, with a stripped back and basic approach and childish, playful interludes between apathetic love songs of youth culture. It has been produced (successfully) with the ethos that less is more.
Tired is probably one of the tracks that will engorge your heartstrings. The sombre voice and lyrics display an apathetic perspective on romance due to the fast-paced nature of modern living, and speak of putting your love life on the back seat while you recover. This indicates a symptom of insecurity that is resonant among the millennial generation.
Pickle Love could be the third child of Josh Homme and Alex Turner, behind Knee Socks and If I Had A Tail. Straight out of the Queens Of The Stone Age playbook, that deep guitar tone and punching drums carry the song and let the singer and lead guitarist have fun. Like many on this album, you can imagine the sun beating down on you as you walk through a wooded area or metropolis, being serenaded by an ascending scale as the track draws to a close.
Happy Child kicks the B-side of the LP off with a bang. A demanding intro retains your attention as we are met with a groovy chord progression and a vocal line that contains elements similar to that of Jack White. Whether it be a nod, a homage, or a happy accident, it works great with the song overall and carries it well.
Without pinning POPHITS to the greats that have appeared before, you cannot ignore the sorrow and sadness that comes through the tone of the singer, emblematic of styles from Ian Curtis and Morrisey. Acts that spawned in similar economic, social, and political climates to what the youth of today are experiencing now. This new sound reminds you of the music that you used to love, as the very relevant subject matter applies this hopeful, mellow, yet dramatic style to the modern era. A great, defining album for the band. I can’t wait to see them bring it to life on stage.