Britain’s loveable pop-punkers You Me At Six are back with their fourth full-length album, and they have raised the bar to a whole new level. The album debuted at number one in the UK album charts which just shows the platform that the band have now reached. ‘Cavalier Youth’ shows that YMAS have matured and with that they bring a whole variety of new musical styles, more intricate lyrics and a great skill for storytelling. This is not to say that they have lost their spark that got them their recognition, far from it, they have simply built upon it.
They themselves have cited bands such as Imagine Dragons and Foals as influences and this shows in the album. They have stripped away the bindings of the typical pop-punk genre and have broadened their horizons. For example, the short song Be Who You Are has an almost folksy-feeling to it, and it’s just a pity it’s not a full-length song!
The band have evolved in a way that could possibly disappoint some of their fans, but it will also open them up to a bunch of new listeners. This is not in a way that means that they have changed too much, they are still noticeably You Me At Six. They are not losing their edge or artistry and becoming too radio-friendly, far from it; they are just moving away from the typical over saturated genre, and most people will probably recognise this, and will be growing up with them.On that note, the band discuss themes that are relateable for many of their fans. In Carpe Diem the lyrics reminisce about growing up (the familiar mention of ‘Two coronas and lime’ will bring a smile to a lot of people’s faces.).
The general themes of the album are growing up and relationships, both romantic and otherwise. They have moved away from having an album that focuses only on breaking down of a romantic relationship, which was one of the flaws of an otherwise great album of theirs,2010’s ‘Hold Me Down’.
Vocalist Josh Franceschi’s vocals are particularly noteworthy on the album, his range has improved massively. Particularly in songs like Wild Ones, his lower register in the beginning of the song is especially impressive. Moreover, the band have talked about wanting to make guitar anthems, following the likes of Kings Of Leon who have mastered the art of catchy riffs; and there is definitely the sense that the band are going in the right direction.
All in all, ‘Cavalier Youth’ is an enjoyable, impressive and mature album that will have songs for old and new fans. The band have shown a huge evolution and it looks like the future could be very exciting for them.