Man Alive!

King Krule - Man Alive!
Critic Score
Based on 25 reviews
2020 Ratings: #303 / 491
User Score
2020 Ratings: #40
Liked by 56 people
February 21, 2020 / Release Date
LP / Format
True Panther / Label
Art Rock, Post-Punk / Genres
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kingkrule.co.uk / Website
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CRITIC REVIEWS

85
Beats Per Minute

With true, human conflict between happiness and sadness on full display, Man Alive! is unequivocally King Krule’s, or better yet, Archy Marshall’s most sobering work yet.

80
Loud and Quiet

You have to lean into Man Alive! to receive its message; it won’t come to you, but what lies in wait if you do is the dark, harsh truth. King Krule is one of the few artists ready to stare it in the eye.

80
NME

The Krulean gloom is beginning to lift and, with this newfound paternal responsibility and a more optimistic worldview in place, Marshall’s creativity is shining for all the world to see.

80
Exclaim!

If previous King Krule efforts could be accused of sad-boy narcissism, Man Alive! shows that Marshall's gaze has never been entirely directed at his own navel. Despair is still there in his songwriting, but so is the capacity for change.

80
Clash

‘Man Alive!’ is an absorbing consolidation of Marshall’s inimitable sound.

80
Under The Radar

It really is an excellent record and one that will speak to Marshall's fans and detractors alike.

80
Crack Magazine

A collection of doomed compositions that push that distinctive voice front and centre. This is soul music – that is, music for marching souls off to Hades.

80
AllMusic

Marshall duly stuffs his concise follow-up to The Ooz with the terror and negative liquid references, both literal and metaphorical, for which he is known.

80
The Observer

Like its predecessors, Man Alive! was recorded at night, and it swims languorously with romance and tenderness, deftly pulling sonics from jazz, post-punk, soul and dubstep. Through the dreamlike wails of sax and scuzz, optimism seeps through.

80
The Needle Drop

The more direct and tuneful approach King Krule takes on Man Alive! makes it—to my ears—a vast improvement over The Ooz.

80
The Young Folks

At just a brisk 41 minutes, Man Alive! has a distinct flow that goes from moments of sincere melancholy to Archy baring his heart outright.

80
No Ripcord

Where OOZ was a dizzying smorgasbord of styles, Man Alive! fleshes out Krule’s song crafting abilities to make for a slightly more cohesive and concise listening experience, albeit, one that remains perplexing—and still has a killer bite.

80
Spill Magazine

Man Alive! offers a refreshing breakaway from the encompassing narrative arc and monotonous, urban crawl of 2017’s Mercury Prize nominated, The Ooz.

79
Paste

Each previous album over-committed to their individual soundscape, but the coherence of and play between all of King Krule’s styles on Man Alive! would make a cubist proud.

77
Pitchfork

The lanky London outlaw with cement-mixer lungs delivers his most anguished album yet, in which impending fatherhood collides with his habitual torments.

65
The Line of Best Fit

Despite snatches of the more conventional songwriting style of old, the dirge doesn’t really leave the record at any point.

65
Northern Transmissions

It feels less of an album of fully formed material and more like a collection of unreleased B- sides, demos and rarities.

65
Spectrum Culture

Essentially, Man Alive! offers just as much of a musical smorgasbord as either of King Krule’s previous albums and, on the surface, one could regard it as more of the same if one were so inclined.

60
DIY

Ultimately, ‘Man Alive!’ feels like the work of an artist in transition: a handful of stunning tracks surrounded by some backfiring experiments.

60
musicOMH

For someone as forward-thinking and experimental, playful and funny as King Krule, Man Alive! is just too dull of a work to celebrate.

40
The Guardian

The south Londoner’s third album offers flashes of brilliance but is weighed down by a tone of gravelly gloom.

WhatTheFunk
84
King Krule, Poet of Ashes.

A hoarse voice to wake the dead, a crazy saxophonist and some guitar chords that reverberate in the mist, a voice that lulled many of my insomniac nights. King Krule slowly chewed low, whispered lyrics, close to my ear, echoing like a tormenting spirit that came to haunt my soul and drive out my deepest demons. At the age of 25, the London-based artist releases his fourth album, which I've been waiting for impatiently since the excellent "The Ooz". ... read more
TreyLikesBands
94
Amazing

The idea of existentialism is a philosophical tradition that fully focuses on the human experience as an individual, showing how thinking isn’t the only way existence in ourselves takes hold - but acting, feeling, and living as a human individual. King Krule’s newest record “Man Alive!” takes on these ideas through a dark and twisted look at human society through the eyes of an everyman.

The album’s opener and third, final single “Cellular” ... read more
Beeyyaahh
90
Emotionally despondent and morally conflicted, Man Alive! serves as a harrowing experience of unhealthy dependency. Yet, in its dejected tone, there is an underlying sense of clarity in Archy’s ability to pick apart his insecurities and potential downfalls.

Man Alive!...where did this record come from? A month ago I’d never finished a Krule record, now he’s one of my favourites ever? Alright then...

In actuality though, I think what I love most about this album can be ... read more
RakkSmells
93
HOLY CRAP. THIS IS ACTUALLY SO GOOD. I WAS NOT PREPARED FOR THIS!

I haven't listened to too much of King Krule's music before this, so after hearing the singles I didn't know what to expect an awful lot, but what I instead got was one of the most atmospheric, haunting and beautifully crafted art rock albums of this entire year. I just completely sunk into the sound of this album as every track had a detail I loved, and the transitions between tracks were just incredible. It turns out, in the ... read more
MasterCrackfox
84
What a great week for music.

One of the most frequent complaints I can think of from King Krule's previous outing, The OOZ, is the issue of the album feeling bloated. Coming in at over an hour of playtime and sometimes lacking in variation, the album seemed to be detracted by this slight. In contrast, Man Alive! seems to be a much more centered and focused release by Archy Marshall. At a slimmer 41 minutes, songs across the album don't get lost in the shuffle in the same way that they did on ... read more
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Track List

  1. Cellular
  2. Supermarché
  3. Stoned Again
  4. Comet Face
  5. The Dream
  6. Perfecto Miserable
  7. Alone, Omen 3
  8. Slinky
  9. Airport Antenatal Airplane
  10. (Don't Let the Dragon) Draag On
  11. Theme for the Cross
  12. Underclass
  13. Energy Fleets
  14. Please Complete Thee
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Added on: January 13, 2020