King Krule - Man Alive!
Feb 20, 2020
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” isn’t afraid to plunge the listener into electronic-infused landscapes of pure chaos. It’s first few seconds are off-putting enough until the groovy beat comes in. From what I can analyze, the song speaks on how today’s society is becoming even more socially disconnected and less adept to conversation.
“What am I good for?
I’ve got no signal.”
I can also see how the track speaks on the problems with the world being put on the shoulders of one person, or how they believe how everything’s THEIR fault. It’s a great mood setter as well, with these subdued guitar lines and a driving bass groove. Just more stellar King Krule craftsmanship.

“Supermarché” sounds mysterious and ‘under the covers’, afraid to come out of the shadows and face the realities of life. It sounds like a demented military march of sorts, perfectly pairing with the lyrical ideas of a dystopian society that sends their children off to fight. The vocals are drowned in echoes, and the sudden chromatic build-ups in-between the verses are the highlights here. “Stoned Again” is the most fast-paced and groovy song on “Man Alive!”. The spoken word/rapping delivery from Archy compliments the dark and grueling production here. It’s a fantastic song, and one of King Krule’s best performances on all fronts. “Comet Face” is next, bringing an even more upbeat groove to the tracklist so far. The lyrics are darker than ever, and show just how scary a King Krule song can get. There isn’t much to say about this track, along with the next one, “The Dream”, which is a much needed relaxing break from the chaos.

“Perfecto Miserable” is a love song at its core, but distorted to an individualistic standpoint.
“And when I’m left alone
It’s so damaging.
And in this violence
the walls cave in”
“Omen, Part 3” was the second single released. The track has this soaring mood, as if skydiving slowly down to a frozen river. These faraway guitar tones and the riding drum rhythms envelope the listener from start to finish, as the song’s message is reassuring and sweet. “Slinky” is more faraway from any other song on “Man Alive!”, it’s instrumentation disconnected and lyrics catatonic. Believe it or not, the closest thing King Krule will every get to vaporwave is “Airport Antenatal Airplane”, a drum-pattern driven grey-area of reassurance and self-assurance. The plane analogy here is really creative and memorable. What is he proving to himself?

The lead single for the record sounds lazy and dream-like. At first, “(Don’t Let the Dragon) Draag On” didn’t click with most listeners as a good choice for a lead single. It sounds like a ‘nothing song’ I’ve heard, but in context with the record is a crucial part in defining the dreamscapes presented here. “Theme for The Cross” starts out as a dark jazz piece, with these soothing yet mysterious synth tones and subsequent saxophones later on. It’s certainly a change of pace, and a quiet yet jolting one at that. Notice (that’s 3rd person talk for me) how every song before this one has been a blue shade, but with this song and the following “Energy Fleets”, a deep red hue is presented alongside an eye-opening moment for King Krule. The track “Underclass” is set between these two tracks, with the realization of his place in the world along with some sweet saxophone lines throughout as if to say “The world is here for you, and you are here for it.”

The final track “Please Complete Thee” questions the authenticity of the good people in the world, with the analogy of his girlfriend.
“Have you seen the disasters?
We don’t have long till this earth is drowned.”
The lonely slide guitars and bright synths at the end of the track are the last things the listener is subjected to before being abruptly cut off to silence. The ending is left up to immense interpretation, and adds a lot more uncanny vibes to the record as a whole.

The idea of existentialism is plastered all across “Man Alive!” to fully answer the world’s questions from an everyman’s perspective. The lonely sounds throughout the record paint the picture of a man, traveling through the timeline of the Earth, as he hurdles through space at high speed, without any care as to his final destination or fate. That is “Man Alive!”, a man, still alive and well, with hopeless thoughts on a hopeless little world.

Color: Blue
FAV TRACKS: all of them!
LEAST FAV: n/a
TreyLikesBands's Tags
3 Comments
Feb 21, 2020
This is a damn good review
Feb 21, 2020
@MinatoArisato Thank you! Much love!
Feb 21, 2020
Amazing review!
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