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The Critics Corner: Albums
Hold Me Down
You Me At Six- Hold Me Down
Spectacular second effort showcases new focus and sound
Name: "Hold Me Down"
Label: Virgin/Epitaph
Release Date: March 9, 2010 (UK), TBA (US)
My rating: 4.7 out of 5

Review written by: Justyna Zurek
You Me At Six, no we’re not hitting on you or trying to take you home. You Me At Six, is actually a band from the UK, that have just released their second album. “Hold Me Down.” The band consists of Josh Franceschi-vocals, Max Helyer-rhythm guitar and backing vocals, Chris Miller-lead guitar, Matt Barnes-bassist, and Dan Flint-drummer. Their amazing stage presence and inspirational lyrics, really make this band unique, and very interesting.

After switching from Slam Dunk Records to Virgin Records in September You Me At Six decided to re-release there first album "Take Off Your Colours". The album was released on 21st July 2009 and has got a post blink 182 pop punk feel about it. With popular songs such as "Save It For The Bedroom", "Finders Keepers" and "Kiss And Tell" they were fast becoming a major label band. Following a successful run over the summer on the Vans Warped Tour you me at six gained a whole new loyal following of fans to go with there already dedicated supporters.

At the end of September the boys decided to go back to their home town of Weybridge, UK to work on their sophomore album "Hold Me Down" which would be later recorded in Reading, UK. Working on this album nearly broke up the band as Josh Franceschi (lead singer) couldn't deal with the pressure and didn’t want to let everyone down after all the buzz and success they had created. This is when they were offered an easy out - a professional could write the songs for them. The band flat out refused as they knew the direction they wanted the band to go.

After his split with his girfriend Josh went about rewriting the lyrics he had already penned for the new album. He rewrote the lyrics about touring and life on the road and replaced them with lyrics of jealousy, hurt and anger. He translated all his views on both the music industry that was pressuring him to make a hit album and his ex-girlfriend to create lyrics for the album. After the process was finished they realised they had an album they could be proud of but yet was still skeptical of how the fans would react.

“Hold Me Down” has a whole new approach, focus and tone about it but with yet enough of their old flair to delight their already dedicated fan base. This album still has a lot of hooks that will get you moving and punching your fists in the air. The choruses are still very catchy but yet show how the band has grown and matured over the past few years. You Me At Six promised their fans an album they could relate to and with “Hold Me Down” they have delivered that and more.

The album opens up with “The Consequence” a song that hands down outweighs anything they have done before. With the sirens fading and the riffs taking over you feel a real sense of urgency from the band from the start. Add to that the distinctive voice of lead singer Josh Franceschi and you are taken on a journey filled with melody and rock prowess. After a neat bridge the band build up it back up for the last few seconds of the song and with lyrics like ‘I’ve got real big plans and such bad thoughts’ this song is going to leave you wanting more.

Next on the album is “Underdog” originally called “Heart of Gold”. The beat is very gently and you can clap along to it throughout the song before the paces starts to quicken as it builds up to the chorus.  With its tight melodies and Josh’s driven vocals it is very hard not to like this song. The guitars are inoffensive which makes this song very easy to sing along to. After only one listen you will feel like you know this song well and can be stuck in your head for days.

With its acoustic opening and vocal harmonies “Liquid Confidence” is by far one of the best songs on this album. With its catchy chorus and meaning full lyrics this song demonstrates how far the band had come in such a short period of time. It’s a ballad but with the bands more rock edge to it, with a big chorus that will get you singing along.

“Hard to Swallow” is one of the big songs on this album. With a made for radio melody and Josh’s lyrics this song is sure to be a big hit when performed live. It has an All American Reject vibe to it when they were at their greatest. It starts off with a nice guitar sound then is quickly followed by everything else. What makes this song amazing is the guitar solo in the middle and the connection josh has with the lyrics when he sings.

With one of the slower beats “There’s No Such Thing as Accidental Infidelity” shows that the band is more than just their usual sound. The guitar sound on this song is different again but it is still incredible and brings this song together nicely. The drumming and vocals are pretty much perfect with the backing vocals giving it that extra flair.

To finish off this already amazing album is “Fireworks” a song penned by Josh about his girlfriend. You can feel the connection between him and this song just by the way he sings it. He pours everything he has into this song which makes this a great way to end the album. The song is much, much slower than the rest and is not what you expect from You Me At Six. The song comes to an explosive end with amazing vocals and guitars stepping it up.

It’s not just the album and the songs that impress, it’s how much you can tell You Me At Six has put into it and have grown in such a short period of time. This album captures and keeps you interested from start to finish with a wide range of songs to suit anyone’s choice of music. This album has already gone top 5 in the UK and I’m sure it will have similar success here in the United States. With their amazing stage presence and the love for their fans You Me At Six are one of the best imports from the UK in recent years.
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