Years & Years are one of those few rare joys that seem to have crept up out of nowhere and landed themselves straight at the top, not just plaguing mainstream radio with their infectious poppy sound, but managing to trickle down every crack so they’re almost unavoidable. This is no mean feat and no bad deed, might I add, but although their smash hit of King debuted in the singles chart in the top spot, their album has a lot more to offer than the trio being a three hit wonder (Shine and Desire have already proved themselves as contagious blasts). Today marks the release of the outfit’s thirteen track debut via Polydor records, and this seems set as the next leap in their trek to success.
Sub-three minute Foundation is a suitably subtle opener, a hollow sound resonating through the music allowing the vocals to push the track forward, with electronics building the song to a level ready to launch into the rest of the record. Real returns to humble beginnings, this time quicker to build into a snappy, catchy, pop anthem, complete with clap along potential in a live show. A neat trick’s slipped in of leaving each line of the chorus hanging a shade longer than expected, a nudge to show that they’re not totally ready to succumb to the unoriginal sound of mass produced pop electronic music.
Live favourite of Worship is sandwiched between two probable fan favourites; first up is trance-tinged Take Shelter, a repetitive but enjoyable song that inspires a lazy, lethargic atmosphere but boasts hooks that could (an undoubtedly will) be remixed into a punchy dance track. Of course it’s a cliche to included a piano ballad, and that’s exactly what Years & Years have done with Eyes Shut, and again, it’s somewhat repetitive, but it’s bound to turn out a popular one for it’s emotive vocals boosted by soaring AutoTune.
Communion continues in the vein of showing off how well Years & Years can pen hits with Ties and Gold (apparently they have a thing for one-word titles) living up to this. Although Without is laced with AutoTune as thick as golden syrup, the fond lyrics blend superbly with the wavering synths that bounce around in the undertones, whilst penultimate Border makes an abrupt shift for the summery, emancipating, grab-your-friends-and-sing-along mood. Keeping up the cliches, closing Memo is another piano work, and this time a melancholic one, but it does the job of bringing the album full circle and winding Communion down slowly.
Yes, it’s a pop album laden with AutoTune and touching on repetitive (with thirteen tracks couldn’t some of the similar numbers been cut?), but it’s a damn good pop album nonetheless. The band’s previously released work has gone down a treat with the world, and I see no reason why their full offering shouldn’t, too.