Its been exactly 2 years, 3 months and 24 days since the release of You Me At Six’s third album ‘Sinners Never Sleep’, the longest wait fans have ever had after frontman Josh Franceschi’s promises at the end of 2012 to return in 2014 with a new record. The band flew to Los Angeles for the fourth record, to work with iconic producer Neal Avron, the genius behind the work of bands such as Fall Out Boy. So, with expectations high and promises met, and the Surrey five-piece back, the question is, was ‘Cavalier Youth’ worth the wait?
The album opens with ‘Too Young To Feel This Old’, bursting with affirmative positivity, launching elements of the You Me At Six sound fans know and love. Its pop-rock effervescent spirit, moulded into just over four minutes of catchy drum beats and guitar tonality, catapult its momentous chorus into an album of anthemic optimism. Tracks such as ‘Fresh Start Fever’ take hold of this idea. The lyric ‘Dream a little bigger!’ is one that eludes to the idea of large crowd sing-alongs to unite the fans to the band.
Although ‘Cavalier Youth’ remains consistent throughout, providing twelve unmistakably feel-good tracks that ooze summer vibes, it appears to lack in diversity and risk-taking material that its predecessor thrived on. However, tracks such as ‘Hope For The Best’ and ‘Forgive and Forget’ undeniably draw in the ear with its fan-pleasing upbeat melodies, suiting Franceschi’s vocals down to a tee with a buoyant charm.
Tracks ‘Win Some, Lose Some’ and ‘Be Who You Are’ do attempt to try something new with interludes and percussion at times that adds a glimpse of assortment to the record, alongside to using echoey vocality and guitar tones that at times reach the high notes, not synonymous to the sound of You Me At Six. However, its difficult not to miss the heaviness that ‘Sinners Never Sleep’ graced us with, suggesting this was the style the Surrey quintet were heading towards. Brutal bloodthirstiness from tracks ‘Bite My Tongue’ and ‘Time Is Money’ wouldn’t go a miss on this record to add that progression that blew away the minds of fans and press in 2011.
You Me At Six have showcased a move towards a mature tone and sound that catalyses their pop-rock characteristics to fuel their position in the spotlight. ‘Cavalier Youth’ displays a bright and assured approach that will translate through radio stations internationally. Although the tracks don’t fulfill an act of dynamism in comparison to past records, their body of work holds confidence despite the clear differences in their steps up the ladder. As the record ends with ‘Wild Ones’ in a mighty anthemic nature, it is clear that You Me At Six are set to continue on towards world domination regardless of the presence of heavier riffs or not.