You, Me, And Everyone We Know - Some Things Don't Wash Out

Album cover
Pop, Pop Rock
Doghouse Records
You, Me, And Everyone We Know
Some Things Don't Wash Out
You, Me, And Everyone We Know - Some Things Don't Wash Out Review rating:
4
User rating:
Average: 5 (3 votes)

'Pop'. In 2010, it's certainly difficult for music lovers to align any positive connotations to that term. Nowadays, 'pop' music appears to be dominated by the ardor for glitz and glamor, the oversexed nature and style-over-substance preferential attitude, the coked-up business side, and most importantly, production teams, paid to execute a condensed form of music. For music fans, it's patronizing. What happened to honesty and integrity? Well... step in You, Me, And Everyone We Know. Yes, their name is an obnoxiously extensive 'pop-culture' reference to the 2005 movie of the same name, but looking beyond that, it's difficult to fault the Washington, DC sextet. Since forming in 2006, the band have garnered a sizable following, by virtue of relentless touring and a duo of fiery, talent-teeming EPs, and numerous member changes and support slots later, penned with independent label Doghouse Records. The band's long awaited debut full-length, Some Things Don't Wash Out, is the sum of its parts; the band and their collective experiences. It's an exploration of youthful anecdotes and drunken escapades, and their subsequent cumulation of wisdom. And it's a damn good pop album.

Some Things Don't Wash Out positions itself between power-pop and pop-rock, embracing a vibrant, straightforward pop sound throughout. As the saying goes, 'it's what you do with it that counts', and You, Me, And Everyone We Know develop their pop composition to feature an array of layers untypical and superior when matched against their contemporaries, owing thanks to bizarre yet often ingenious lyrics, distinguishable and versatile vocals, feisty guitar work, assertive drumming, cheeky gang vocals, a multitude of various instruments and sounds, and most of all, blissfully boisterous melodies. Acting as a prelude to the album's jubilance, downbeat opener "Shock And Awe" acts as a 'fuck you' foreword, targeting their tormentors with the bold proclamation; "This is shock, this is awe, this is war". From thereon, the games begin - fast paced "I'm Losing Weight For You" is an gripping albeit awkwardly short effort, where frontman Benjamin Liebsch announces, "Don't want to sing about girls / or what they mean to me / I'm too narcissistic for this scenery / my mood is never as bright as it seems to be / transition from Jekyll to Hyde too seamlessly". A reference to his past weight problems, when's the last time you heard a pop artist both secure and honest enough to sing about weight problems, let alone in such a jovial fashion?

The resilient duo of the reworked fan favorite "Livin' Th' Dream" and the self-assured, optimistic "A Bigger Point Of Pride" follow, before single and title-track "Some Things Don't Wash Out" steals the spotlight, with its audacious hooks, amusing and self-deprecating lyrics, and compelling instrumental and vocal transitions from verse to chorus and back again. It sounds sonically huge, as all six members of You, Me, And Everyone We Know do their utmost to make themselves heard. The humble and inspirational "Bootstraps" follows, as vocalist Liebsch advises "keep your chin up on the behalf / of every beautiful rejection / with their own ugly reflection / to anyone who's ever never felt the same / pick yourself up by the bootstraps". It would be fair to say that the band's survival, and indeed much of their success, is owed to this mentality. Moving onwards, "James Brown Is Dead" and "The Next 20 Minutes" could not contrast more; the former being a carnival-esque spree of experimentation (it has a trumpet solo towards the end - need I say more?), and the latter being a sombre yet confident acoustic effort, with some of the album's strangest and most amusing lyrics; "it's sad because your love is like a bus / I may miss you / but I know more will come". The bizarre, (yet strangely ingenious?) lyrical nature is retained in "A Little Bit More," a song notable for its eccentric chorus and delightful use of gang vocals, before the energetic, yet unspectacular "The Puzzle" prepares the album for its grand finale of "Moon, Roll Me Away," a steady-paced ballad which concludes Some Things Don't Wash Out fittingly, as the band shrewdly exclaim; "I'm the tide / we both know I can't stay / but nothing short of the moon is going to roll me away".

Having been in the making for four years, You, Me, And Everyone We Know's debut album harnesses four years of agony, euphoria, and experience, in a manner certain to attract comparisons to the personable complexion and pop genius of bands like The Format and Say Anything. However, the album is not without its faults; the transition from creating a successful EP to creating a successful full-length is an art to be mastered, and the album feels somewhat sporadic and lacking cohesion at times. For example, the opening two songs are less than 3 minutes long combined, while the single is the longest track on the album is placed awkwardly in the middle of the album's track list. These lapses are minor however, and regardless of its imperfections, Some Things Don't Wash Out is a ruthlessly fun exercise in pop music, a little bit more, but certainly nothing less, and sufficiently earns its merit as one of the best pop albums of 2010.

1. Shock And Awe
2. I'm Losing Weight For You
3. Livin' Th' Dream
4. A Bigger Point Of Pride
5. Some Things Don't Wash Out
6. Bootstraps
7. James Brown Is Dead
8. The Next 20 Minutes
9. A Little Bit More
10. The Puzzle
11. Moon, Roll Me Away

"How did we get here?" is the question that seems to be most heavily weighing on the collective mind of You, Me, and Everyone We Know in these last few months. After all, their decision to head into the studio to record a follow up to their 2006 release Party For The Grown and Sexy wasn't one made months in advance with the utmost of care and planning; It was instead brought on by a van fire that destroyed most of their possessions and the place they had come to call home. ... read more

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