Manchester Orchestra Simple Math
Simple Math from my perspective is broken down into 4 main parts, the opener, and three separate, similar – 3 song sections. The opener “Deer” isn’t your ordinary Manchester song, bringing more of a spin to the slow side of Manchester it’s easy to see from the start what’s been in the works for the past 2 years. Next is the upbeat, familiar version of Mean Everything to Nothing that will be familiar to quite a few. “April Fool” is found here, which while being the most accessible song on the album is also likely to be one the most overplayed ones. Quickly after that we can dive into the five through seven section of the album which is where you’ll find three of the strongest and most well written Manchester Orchestra songs to date. It’s almost as if “Pale Black Eye”, “Virgin”, and “Simple Math” were grouped together on purpose, but whether you play them in this order or backwards does not make a difference. The middle-section meld so well together that it’s unmistakable these tracks were put in this order. “Pale Black Eye” showcases Andy’s emotional vocals most predominately through that familiar near shouting he displayed on many songs on the groups previous release.
“Simple Math” itself blows everything else Manchester has done out of the water. From the opening seconds to the closing notes it’s easy to see that it’s the most ambitious song that Andy Hull and co. have put their time into. It’s difficult to pinpoint whether it’s the string arrangements or the lyricism that makes the song but one thing is for sure, “simple math, believe me, all is brilliant.”
Manchester wasn’t looking to make Mean Everything to Nothing part two but instead created an entirely different album comprised of a diverse sound and it worked; it worked really well.