What has always stood out about You Am
I is that here you have a band not in anyway cowed before
their idols and ambitions. That is, while their indie-kid
contemporaries are too self-conscious to admit they want
to be great, this band have the chutzpah to believe they
walk the same halls as any God you care to mention.
You can see it in their stylistic precocity.
They'll take anything on board, and while Hourly Daily was
at times twee and precious, each album exhibits the kind
of redefined melodic sense that speaks of ravenous musicality.
You Am I walk the line. Others aren't so brave.
Take "Heavy Heart," a potentially
very bad feeling-sorry-for-myself ballad with a classic
chord progression. As a listener, you're sitting on it the
whole way through, waiting for it to crash. But thanks to
a deft way with the lyric and melody, they pull it off.
Same too for a slow-burner like "Come Home With Me."
At moments like these You Am I seem so much more important
than any other local band - even at their worst moments
- because like their idols they're not afraid to take a
fall in trying to be great.
Produced by Black Crowes man George Drakoulis,
#4 Album is a lean, loose and disparate thing. Where Hourly
Daily was seamless in tone, here numbers like the skuzzed-up
"Billy" (which suggests the ranginess of "Cool
Hand Luke") run into perfectly crafted radio pop like
"What I Don't Know About You." Horns come in on
the opening track "Junk" - and that's "Runaway
Boys" you're hearing in the chorus.
Yearning, romantic and scrappy in fine
tradition, #4 Album is both a grower and their most consistent
collection of good tunes yet.