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Album Review: Years & Years - Communion


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Years & Years - Communion

Years & Years won the BBC Sound of 2015...blah blah blah. Who doesn’t already know that? The London electro-synth-pop trio have been making waves for the past year, and a few have been tidal in the lead up to the much anticipated debut album Communion.

With so many ears clocked in their direction, there’s a lot riding on it.

Setting the ‘Foundation’, if you’d excuse the pun, the full length opens with throbbing bass and haunting vocals from Mr Olly Alexander.

Harrowing lyrics are crooned, while atmospheric electronica pulsates dangerously in sharp layers. In short, this is dance music, with a broken heart.

While the majority of the tracks have been no stranger to the radio waves, they slot in place with ease.

Highlighting their 80s influence, latest single ‘Shine’ boasts an old school chorus that is familiar somehow. 

 Just as energetic as their debut ‘Real’, a synth heavy number kissed with the golden assets of RNB.

‘Desire’ surges as a sexy rush. Fast paced and sleek, underlying groove only adds to the perkiness.

Whereas lower tempo ‘Take Shelter’ is just as seductive, flirtatiously cheeky lyrics hush in whispers.

While chart topping ‘King’ probably transports you to the foggy memories of Saturday night on the dance floor, it’s easy to have missed pleading lyrics ‘I was a king under your control, I want to feel like you’ve let me go, so let me go’.  

Strange really, considering how much of an earworm it is. 

 Away from the singles, Years & Years have a flip side where their confessional, beautiful lyrics form metaphor and mystery.

‘Without’ wavers delicately on vulnerable, exposing perhaps the rawest of aching vocals.

Brooding tones swell onto ‘Memo’ oozing velvety tones and sleek rhythm. Dainty keys and moody echo dig deep.

Though, ‘Gold’ may have fallen victim to a little too much of the old autotone, there’s no escaping the power of the polished bittersweet falsetto.

Upbeat ‘Worship’ infuses hip hop lyrics and beat. It’s almost impossible not to envision a boy band in baggy pants, performing some sort of choreography. Still managing to click and point to the hot chick on the front row.

Similarly, puppyish indie beats bounce happily along sweet harmonies building momentum throughout ‘Border’.

However, perhaps the strongest Years & Years is their soulful roots.

‘Eyes Shut’ acts as the ballad with sweet, soulful vocals. A modern choir piece, it’s completed with finger clicks and angelic backing.

‘Ties’ allows the inner soul diva to be released, and let loose. Melancholic melody creates a mood so big; it could soundtrack a battle sequence.

On the exterior Years & Years produce dance music, with infectious chorus and sexy vibes. Produced to perfection, with smooth bass and exciting synth.

Though, Communion is more than that. It's a collection of moods. 

What has been underestimated however is their power to tell a story, which the album most certainly does.

There’s heartbreak beneath the beat.

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