Reviews

Young Fathers “Heavy Heavy” Album Review

Heavy Heavy

Young Fathers

  • Genre: Alternative
  • Date: 03 Feb, 2023
  • Content: Not-explicit
  • Region: NGA
  • Track(s): 10
  • ℗ 2023 Ninja Tune

When a band releases their fourth album, it’s always interesting to see how they shake up the formula or further establish their identity. “Heavy Heavy” is the sound of an intense revival in which Young Fathers’ distinctive sonic identity is emphasized. We hear the electric outcomes of the Scottish three regrouping in a back-to-basics studio setting, cooked up after some time apart due to a busy schedule after the release of their third LP “Cocoa Sugar.”

The ten tracks on this album might seem lengthy, but they rarely go above three minutes. The busy chaos of life surrounds the tracks like the city, tightly wound over its 33 minutes but dense in substance; sounds bleed in from the outside, voices fade in and out whether they are whispering, shouting, screaming, or singing, and drums pound away as the beating heart at the center of it all. But in the end, joy permeates this album in all of its varied forms.

Album Cover Art

Young Fathers &Quot;Heavy Heavy&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, December 6, 2023

An interesting piece of art. A man is shaded all black, leaving out his mouth region. In black tape he is fastened to the wall because he is really that much lightweight or because the tape has supernatural gum? Young Father’s would have their reasons, of course. Anyway, there is something special about this black man held against the wall. He is stuck in a position; a dance position that shows some excitement. He appears to be stuck really deep in a trance while his mouth relays to whom it may concern all the Heavy Heavy feels.

Tracks and Features

With its pogo-ing bassline, the album’s first track, “Rice,” magically transforms from a jangly shuffle to an explosive conclusion. The record’s layers keep shifting like tectonic plates, gradually altering the landscape beneath the tracks. This trick can be pulled off thanks to the group’s knack for hooks, which serve as a diversion while the scene around it changes, as is demonstrated in the songs “I Saw” and “Drum.” On the former, their vocals collide to stunning effect, exorcising the song’s spirit, while on the latter, percussion and synths flutter behind the song’s addictive melody.

The song “Tell Somebody” provides some breathing room. It is slowly built around a cyclical melody and a swelling organ, growing and receding only when it feels like it is about to explode out of the speakers. Their abstract approach to songwriting persists, but it frequently rubs elbows with bits of relatable truth.

The following song, “Geronimo,” is painted with a fine brush and leaps from trip-hop intimacy to euphoria. In a couplet that captures the responsibilities and daily joy that come with having a family, G discusses the weight of parenthood. Cuts with a gospel aesthetic make their injuries more obvious. Before being calmed with a kiss on the temple, “Shoot Me Down” begs for salvation.

In response to the rising wealth inequality made worse by the cost of living crisis, the song “Sink or Swim” has the sound of a coked-up ska track. Allergic sobs. The adage “the proverbial river rises” suggests that change is imminent because of the intensity with which it reflects the current political, environmental, and economic unrest. The most tumultuous song on the album is “Holy Moly.” Underneath there are seismic drums. The boyish chorus evokes the sense of dying words spoken just before the end of the world as we know it.

Tracklist

NOTITLETIME
1Rice2:39
2I Saw3:27
3Drum3:38
4Tell Somebody3:10
5Geronimo3:33
6Shoot Me Down3:28
7Ululation2:53
8Sink Or Swim3:04
9Holy Moly3:29
10Be Your Lady3:14

Album Theme

“Heavy Heavy” is a tenacious invitation to enjoy ourselves in spite of everything going on around us; a defiant dance performed through clenched teeth, a recognition that even as the world implodes, we can hold fast, still be in love, still dance, still sweat, and still be kind to one another.

Production Credits

‘G’ Hastings singlehandedly produced the project.

Stream

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