Album Review: Manchester Orchestra “Cope”

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Every once in a while, I’ll hear an album that is so compelling and seamlessly woven together from start to finish that it warrants multiple repeated listens and gets my full, undivided attention. Manchester Orchestra’s “Cope” is most definitely one of those albums. From its darkly powerful opening track, “Top Notch,” this stunner of an album pulls you right into its onslaught of heavy hitting rock that’s lyrically laced with themes of overcoming fear and grief, letting go, absolution, and even finding happiness.

While the band’s 2011 release was more sprawling, orchestral, and varied in sound, “Cope” just hits you head on with straightforward, heavy indie rock. It’s chock full of some of the best riffs and hooks I’ve heard on a rock album in a while, and it’s a refreshing new direction for this ever evolving band.

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Andy Hull explained his approach in a press release, saying, “We wanted to make the kind of album that’s missing at this time in rock. ‘Cope’ has no time for intricate arrangements, album-wide concepts, or even innovation. ‘Cope’ is simply about…(brutally) pounding you over the head with every track.” And each song on the album does just that; he and his band have created a masterpiece of impactful, intense, no-frills rock that is sure to delight their fans and will most likely win them many new ones.

So go ahead and put it on, turn it way up and be prepared to get swept away in a swell of raw sound and emotion with this intelligently crafted rock record.

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