Never Shout Never
‘Recyled Youth Volume One’
If you thought you had left Never Shout Never behind in your angsty teens, lead singer Christofer Drew is here to prove you wrong.
“Recycled Youth Volume One” is the first of what is supposedly a three-part project by Drew and his band. This new project is a trippy reimagining of some of his “classics,” and I have to say that I’m neither impressed nor disappointed in its delivery.
Here’s the thing: I spent a lot of time listening to Never Shout Never back in the day. Back before his moniker referred to nothing more than a stoner kid making ukulele EPs in his parents’ basement.
In the beginning, during those early MySpace days, the music was fun to say the least. It was pop-y and nasally and adolescent. Even now, listening to “What is Love” makes me feel all types of Hot Topic-cool and back-pocket-journal-artist. Before long, though, things changed.
To start, the sound was less amateur. The lyrics and the production got a little bit darker.
These days, the music manages to be both overwrought and stripped down. It’s hard to explain, but it works best if you use the title itself as a lens.
“Recycled Youth” is an appropriate name for the album, as Drew is an artist clinging to his best days for dear life. The band’s attempt at reimagining these sounds leaves listeners underwhelmed and — if y’all are anything like me — ready and willing to hit the skip button.
And when it was all done, I wanted to comb back through my ancient MP3 player and listen to his free releases from 2009.
In short, I stopped expecting those happy-go-lucky endorphins from the early music a long time ago, which is why I’m not all that surprised with this album’s lackluster performance.
Final verdict: it’s not horrible. And if you were a fan at one point, this isn’t too far a cry from what we fell in love with in the first place. It’s just enough nostalgia to keep you listening but not quite a fresh or inventive enough take on his old work to keep you coming back for more.
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