Album Review: You Me At Six - Night People

Words by Maddy Howell

Often hailed as one of the defining bands of modern British pop-rock, in recent years You Me At Six have fallen short of delivering what should be expected of them. 2014’s ‘Cavalier Youth’ marked three years of work on an album that, despite marking the band’s first UK number one, left many crestfallen with it’s copious amounts of timeworn tropes. After another three-year break and a somewhat tedious promotional campaign, the Surrey band return with their fifth full-length ‘Night People’.

Opening on the title track, Night People is a clear arena-friendly anthem, with its bluesy tones interwoven with an infectious rock n’ roll attitude. Josh Franceschi’s orotund vocals present a compelling sense of confidence, with each self-assured note controlled perfectly throughout.

Although not an overwhelming fluctuation from their previous sound, the album takes on a somewhat heavier and more ominous tone. Heavy Soul’s contagious distorted guitar parts accompanied by Franceschi’s almost ethereal vocal performance form the basis of one of the album’s highlights, serving as an epitome of the band’s sound.

One of the most notable aspects of the release is how natural it feels. Over their career You Me At Six have seemed to grow into something they weren’t necessarily destined to be, with parts of their sound coming across as forced or synthetic. ‘Night People’ shows a band who are not only comfortable in their sound, but confident with what they are doing.

Whilst every album the band releases seems to have its token ballad, Take on the World is arguably their best offering since 2008’s Always Attract. Digressing back to a more equilibrated state, it’s a perfect reminder that whilst their sound is evolving, aspects of You Me At Six’s sound will always remain constant. This sense of familiarity is welcomed as Franceschi’s sickly sweet vocals float over the euphoric notes of the lead guitar.

The album draws to a close with Give, an endearingly triumphant anthem showcasing the band’s growth and maturity. There’s a sense of clarity as the song reaches its final notes, with Franceschi’s cry of “What are you looking for?”, echoing into the distance as the album fades out.

‘Night People’ is unlikely to be the most quintessential release of 2017, but equally it won’t be the most nugatory. Whilst the concept of enjoying a You Me At Six album in 2017 may seem somewhat ludicrous, ‘Night People’ presents the quintet wiping the slate clean. With this darker, more charismatic sound and a newly discovered sense of maturity, You Me At Six are well on their way to cementing their legacy in British rock history.