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“It’s okay to be sad if you sound this good”
When two beloved artists come together, their respective fans’ sky-high expectations can eclipse whatever product comes out of their collaboration. But the new project from former Miracle of 86 member Kevin Devine and Andy Hull of Manchester Orchestra may have escaped that curse with their self-titled debut, Bad Books.
The album opens with “How This All Ends,” a catchy track full of harmonious vocals from Devine and Hull. The song flawlessly transitions into “The Easy Mark & The Old Maid” and sets up the flow of the album. Tracks alternate between harder-rocking anthems like the foot stomp inducing “You Wouldn’t Have to Ask” and “Please Move,” with some slower, thoughtful moments that sound an awful lot like Conor Oberst, such as “You’re A Mirror I Cannot Avoid.” And that’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Fans of either artist will not be disappointed with Bad Books. Both Devine and Hull keep their roots strong while dancing along the lines of perfectly sweet, if slightly emo, indie pop. But fear not, they step into a little punk territory every few songs, too, just for good measure. (Razor & Tie Music)
Produced by Bad Books // Recorded at Favorite Gentleman Studios, Atlanta GA // Engineered by Robert McDowell and Ben Homola // Mixed by Chris Bracco // Mastered by Glen Schick