Everything Everything bassist Jeremy Pritchard once described his band's sound as "deracinated".
Even when you know the meaning of the word – uprooted – it's hard to fathom Pritchard's use of it. That's what happens when university graduates form rock bands and take their musicianship seriously: you get a pompous version of Django Django.
Deracinated or not, the Manchester-based four-piece's second album is a precise and exquisitely carved entity, a sort of art-pop take on what might have happened if ELO and Antony And The Johnsons ever locked horns in a recording studio.
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Crueller reviewers than me have mentioned Coldplay at this point and, in truth, there's enough of a widescreen feel to songs like Duets to merit it. Jonathan Higgs's spiky lyrics are a cut above Chris Martin's and the vocal and compositional quirks –repetition of words, glitches and cut-ups, scat-style singing that follows the stuttering drum kick, even the use of underscores in how the title track is written on the CD – nudge this over the line into the territory marked "experimental". Just. You admire it a lot more than you feel it, though, and perhaps that's what makes the difference.