Manchester Orchestra album means everything to someone

Kelly Pickerel

If I could breathe music, I would fill my lungs with Manchester Orchestra. I’ve felt the need to breathe them, drink them, feel them, soak them in ever since I was thrown around the House of Blues when they opened for Brand New two years ago. In high school, I was the Brand New/Bayside/Alkaline Trio kind of girl, mainly by a push from my boyfriend and his friends. But my fascination with Manchester Orchestra has far exceeded its original association with my friends and Jesse Lacey. And anyone who still associates Andy Hull and his awkwardly young-looking bandmates with Brand New is so completely oblivious.

Manchester Orchestra isn’t my top listened to artist on my account for nothing. They’re nearly 300 plays above anyone else on my charts, mostly in part to their new album, “Mean Everything to Nothing” that leaked in early April but was released Tuesday. If there was one song I could play on repeat and feel pumping violently through my veins for the rest of my life, it would be track four, “You, My Pride & Me.”


“Mean Everything to Nothing”

Released by Sony

Stater rating (out of five): ★★★★ 1/2

This isn’t a new song to me. Manchester opened with this song at all their shows I went to the past year. And although it’s an amazing song – every song on the album is amazing – nothing compares to a live performance. If I could make one request to Manchester Orchestra about this album, I wish they would have released an actual live version instead. Hull said they recorded it live in the studio, with nothing to smooth out, and you can tell. It sounds raw and loud, but not as loud as it could be. Your earbuds connected to your iPod do not match the effect of the pounding blast ripping through your eardrums when standing next to your musical equals in the front row of a show.

I’m biased, obviously. But if you’ve ever listened to Manchester’s first album, “I’m Like a Virgin Losing a Child,” maybe you’ve wondered what could top the catchy one-liners facebook statuses love: “When I fly solo I fly so high” or “Don’t stop calling, you’re the reason I love losing sleep.” This new album blows them out of the water.

First of all, lead singer Hull sings with much more passion this time around. Granted, the first album did have passionate songs like “Where Have You Been?” But on “Mean Everything to Nothing,” you can feel the passion. The first song, “The Only One,” opens with lines like “I am the only son of a pastor I know who does the things I do.” Hull croons on “Shake it Out” that “I felt the weight within reveal the bigger mess that you can’t fix,” immediately fueling an even more passionate musical bridge. “Mean Everything to Nothing” has powerful musical exchanges that don’t compare to anything on the first album. Just listen to “You, My Pride & Me” 42 seconds in and you’ll understand. The guitars and the drums mesh together into something so violent I want to breathe it in.

I suggest checking out Manchester Orchestra if you’re looking to get off that high school Brand New/Bayside/Alkaline Trio bandwagon. Take a deep breath before starting “Mean Everything to Nothing.” Then keep breathing it in.

Contact assistant all editor Kelly Pickerel at [email protected].