A fantastic set of songs that loads Manhattan with future hits.
Too bad it’s all over the place.
Manhattan comes across as a rich middle aged man during a mid life crisis. A Gucci shirt might be aesthetically pleasing, however not with outlet priced jeans. Manhattan swerves in and out of genres, speeding from NYC Strokes indie rock, then storming into aggressive punk mentalities, to almost reggae rhythms. This genre hopping might comply to the title Manhattan, with its many cultures integrated into an album. However with a focus on similarities rather than differences, Manhattan’s genre hopping could have worked, just not as boldly as Skaters have committed to.
The album could have possibly worked if they had just revisited the ordering of each track, therefore not placing a heavy Punk influenced track, Nice Hat, next to a Pop song, Wanna Dance. That is one of a few flaws but some linked tracks are polar opposites. One minute you have the joy of wailing riffs and floating vocals on Deadbolt. Then immediately following, you’re transported to a reggae festival, with no attempt at just simmering down their Indie Rock brand instead of removing it completely, then rejuvenating this essence a track later. The releases from the album: Deadbolt, Wanna Dance and Massachusetts are seriously the album’s saving grace, along with their oldest release, Schemers.
The songs are worth so much more than Manhattan can provide credit for. Granted that I’ve fixated on how most of the album doesn’t link chronologically to itself; but the tracks as a whole, are of a high standard with blends of basic guitar hooks and joy-able rhythms for either moving drums or hints of electronics. However the constant trading of genres depreciates the album dangerously. As a collective of songs for a mix-tape, it would score a high 8. For an album; the songs, just make up for Manhattan’s lack of stability.