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Marshall Berman wrote, "To be modern is to find ourselves in an environment that promises us adventure, power, joy, growth, transformation of ourselves and our world - and at the same time, that threatens to destroy everything we have, everything we know, everything we are."

Everything Everything can't destroy us, but they operate on that same knife edge, in a state of duplicity. They've manipulated our ideas, deconstructed our premise of popular music, and utilised its components to their own ends. Everything is reusable, temporary, workable - moulded into a dystopian image of reality pressed from our own closed eyed faces - then refined, sharpened and polished into place. There is no out of bounds, no off limit element that can't be appropriated.

On Get To Heaven you're as likely to find reference to a Calvin Harris synth sound as you are to a Suede guitar riff, or a vocal melody that's straight from The Human League. There are very few bands who can unravel all the varying strands of pop music and tie them into something original. There are very few bands who can reference so much existing music without just repeating the past. There are even fewer bands that can do this whilst evolving their sound over three albums, without either burning themselves out or disappearing into their own sense of self importance. Everything Everything seem to be ideologically driven to processing, using, and updating popular music, distorting our interpretation of the past and blessing/cursing us with the epiphany that the action of our personal choices is distinctly political.

Of course, the hypocrisy is palpable, but not just anyone can sign to Sony and speak out against the institutionalisation of humanity within the capitalist system. Most just validate the boomer war cry:

"Where are the political bands? Where are the rebel singers? Where are the protest songs?"

"These days" versus "The old days" always.

Which is of course, pointedly condescending golden age bullshit. The problem is not the bands, you can find political bands. It's us, the problem is us, how we interact with political music, it lost its power as we did. We lost and as the time a-changed the music had to adjust - how can you expect a song to change the world when its audience is now too risk averse or apathetic to credit it with the power to change anything?

Everything Everything are acutely political, intellectual, aggrandising. Every aspect of this album helps to point out the horror of our everyday life, the horror of the world we've built and allowed to be built around us, the horror that we depend on to exist at all. Their songs are laced with hidden meanings, the obvious becomes metaphorical, the stupid transforms, everything works on several levels.

That way lies the problem.

That knife edge on which they inhabit. Trying to stay smart in an accessible way, to embrace popular culture without cliche, to be radio friendly with credibility. Sometimes you can feel the handclaps and sense the impending gurning singalong that comes with them. It's not that we're being told off, in the way that Muse do with their outward disdain for their own paying audience, but that we're being spoken down to. Just clap along while I explain a few things and pull some rockstar shapes. For the most part it's not condescension so much as a distance, a feeling that they are somehow removed from the situation, like the things they speak of do not apply to them, or that they are so far removed they feel they have to play this game to fit in.

Positioning "I" in this way allows the narrator to talk directly to you from a place of authority, which works to great effect in 'The Wheel (Is Turning Now)' but less so in the slow crescendo of 'No Reptiles' and the awkward rhyming verses of 'Regret', despite them both being highly enjoyable songs. When lyrics like "Maybe I'm a human, trying to click undo man" make you wince, you still get the sense that Jonathan Higgs is accompanying them with a nod and a knowing wink to camera. It's like how sometimes surrounding yourself with similarly minded people can make you begin to feel like a parody of your own instincts, but whilst second guessing through spiralling self-awareness is what makes you notice it as a weakness in the first place, it also encourages you to think that maybe the band are being knowingly kitsch.

Distance is a useful device, it characterises the album, separation allows comment without blame. It means they can take the pieces they like from a jigsaw and ignore the rest of the picture, which is the approach they took when they pieced together their sound, resulting in an album scattered with moments of familiarity, moments that ignite the senses, providing degrees of recognition which strengthen your emotional ties to it.

The familiar also serves to make the unfamiliar stand out, and here is where Everything Everything shine, on the second half of the album in particular they reach a point which feels entirely natural to them and yet sounds completely alien to any of their peers. Maybe they listened to mainstream radio after the songs from Arc made the playlist and allowed what they heard to disfigure their own ideas about music until a new and brutal truth was reached; one that finally finds concept and content on equal pegging.

Get To Heaven is more focussed than Man Alive, which suffered for overreaching. It's better paced than Arc, which had great songs but grew tiresome. It's the insular nature of these songs that makes the album better than their previous efforts, a purity emerges from their new found restraint, there is depth to be found in its breathing room. There are moments approaching what we could call elegance, yet with its subject matter, it's like a beautiful monument on the site of some godawful atrocity.

It's not perfect by any means, but what else do we have that can distort the mainstream, and pump righteous messages subliminally into the brains of our children?

It's not perfect, but we are living in a time when algorithms sculpted by psychologists envelop us, when our world view is designed in open plan office spaces, when we are lost within the beautiful bubble of our own encouraging echo, when endless scrolling deep thought user experiences - stealth ads and reactionary google geniuses - are all one imaginary click from a forgettable rabbit hole of instant expertise. So maybe this time we shouldn't just feed on the weaknesses, maybe we should focus on the strengths.

They've attempted to use our letters, our syntax, our language, to create a new way of communicating with us, so the very least we should do is talk about it.

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