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  • Sonny Parker
    July 1, 2022
    Get ready, folks. UM is about to take you on a trip through their soundscape of progressive pop, with all the emotion and technical musicianship we've come to love. Assuming you haven't explored the "teaser" tracks before today, one can expect more precision grooves and introspective, thoughtful lyrics in every cut. Opening with the super-clean hook of "I Don't Know What I Want," we can hear the maturity in their songcraft and flawless engineering of their studio work. The reflective "Small Strides" will keep your head nodding right through to the parentally-themed "Always October," a Bayliss testament to the strength of family. It keeps going on "Fenced In," with tasty textures by Farag accentuating the syncopated structures overlaid. "Do you live in the plastic world?.." It's a real question these days, and among the heavy questions posed in the cathartic transitions of "New Wings." Emotions run high in the simply beautiful "So Much," with its sense of forgiveness and delicate acoustic feel. We all know UM likes to orchestrate the atmosphere of their live shows, and the energy builds even more with an airy, Cinninger-penned tune, "Dayville Monarchy." The deliberate riffs of "Hiccup," a song with power-pop roots and a bumpin' bassline courtesy of Mr Ryan Stasik is next in line, and you can be sure the ride is not over yet. "Pure Saturation" will lead you to the next level with an open, rhythmic verse, a synth-driven chorus, and a sweet little Joel solo at the bridge! "It's Not Your Fault" will give you that Beatles feel in the opening, contrasted with a heavy, triumphant Jake solo at the end. Look for this one to bring the house down live! I believe we were all wondering what a track titled "Escape Goat" would sound like, and now we have this soaring, dancy declaration of love to look forward to at any given show. In "How About Now?" we find a sweet little acoustic track that reminds of us of the tremendous range this band is capable of, harkening back to tracks like "Bullhead City." They always know how to close it out, so get ready for a showcase of the one and only Kris Meyers on the kit and brilliant guitar work on "Ordinary Times." It only continues with the anthemic closing track, "Work Sauce," complete with an odd-meter section and a thought-provoking chorus. "I thought we had this figured out?.." We all ask that question at some point, but we can be sure of this - Umphrey's McGee has turned out exactly what they aimed to; a set of brilliant, concise rock songs to carry us into the next decade with our heads held high and our souls grooving!
  • Ginger James Browne
    March 11, 2022
    This album is much rawk! Very heady! 5/5 Budweisers!