Sound — 9
With "Cavalier Youth," You Me At Six have certainly found "their" style which is evident throughout the entire album. As always singer Josh Franceschi is on top form and offers similar vocal range to that seen in "Sinners Never Sleep" and again shows his softer tones in songs like "Be Who You Are."
The set up from last time has not changed and this is apparent in their songs however, compared to last time the band's arrangement of guitars and drums provides us for a more enjoyable time, in which all instruments are in proportionate amount depending. In terms of particular instruments what stood out for me more than anything, was the work put in by drummer Dan Flint. Flint's drummer ability has always been one to admire, but the range of techniques and the level of his drumming was greatly exhibited throughout "Cavalier Youth."
Overall in regards to their sound, I think they have definitely found a strong bases for future albums and will please new and old fans alike. The location of the recording of the album was kept fairly secret until August of last year where they released that they will be recording the album in Los Angeles, California with produced Neil Avron. Avron's previous work has included Fall Out Boy and Linkin Park amongst others, and Avron's style is apparent throughout You Me At Six's album. As in regards to the sound quality, it is to a very high standard, which is something you would expect from a global band such as You Me At Six. However I would still recommend buying a hard copy of the album over the more common digital version, as the sound quality in flak form is, in my opinion far better.
Lyrics — 7
In terms of the relationship between the lyrics and the music, they fit perfectly together, the song "Win Some, Lose Some" exemplifies this with the catchy guitar riff combined with Franceschi's fighting lyrics. Nearing the end of the album, both the lyrics and the music draw to a climax, with Franceschi asking questions and the band upping the pressure. The lyrics have vastly improved on "Sinners Never Sleep," with far more focus on growing up and moving on. I do feel at times some of the recurring themes about relationships have been stretched and repeated from previous albums and that disappoints me that Franceschi could of been more creative. But this does not draw away overarching style too much.
Overall Impression — 8
Since "Cavalier Youth" is one of the first 'big hitters' to be released this year, it would be hard to compare to similar artists, however when comparing it to other You Me At Six albums, I've got to say this is their best work to date. When the band released the singles, "Lived a Lie" and "Fresh Start Fever," I was sceptical this was going to be a let down. However after ordering the pre-release and getting the album on Saturday I've taken days to listen to it and assess it, the album needs to be listened to as a whole for it to work.
As usual bands normally release their singles as to appeal to their fan base and new comers alike with the hope that these are some of the better songs on the album. Although "Fresh Start Fever" and "Lived a Lie" are good, I much prefer "Win Some, Lose Some" and "Carpe Diem." Both songs stand out for me because of how the lyrics pace with the tempo of the song and how the band managed to combine heavier guitar tones and still manage to keep the upbeat feel that has been apparent throughout.
I can't find any drawbacks of this album, the only I reserve I would probably have would be I would of liked to see some more songs, possibly as demo's, just to see other material the band was working on.
I would highly recommend buying this album and judging it for yourself, whether you are a long time fan or just getting to know You Me At Six, you will find this album a stand out and a positive note for things to come, both for them and the 2014 UK rock/alternative scene.