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Album Review: Declan McKenna – What Do You Think About The Car?

2 min read
Photo: Michelle Greco/Sony

It’s the coming of age for the post-millennial generation, generation z, and with them come new sounds, aesthetics and ideas. Declan McKenna and his clan of musicians seem to be pushing the frontline in the realm of indie pop rock. As an adolescent of 19 years, he has a firm idea of his sound, determined to do things his way both musically and lyrically. What Do You Think About The Car? is his debut album, his introduction to the wider music industry.

James Ford, who has worked with  the Arctic Monkeys in the past, served as producer for most of the tracks. Rostam Batmanglij from Vampire Weekends, Neil Comber and Max Marlow also served as producers on the tracks Listen To Your Friends, Paracetamol and Brazil, respectively.

If the odd ball title of the album doesn’t grab your attention, then the left of center sound will certainly prick your ears. McKenna blends an interesting make up of 8-bit electronica, synths, peculiar samples and dialogue interludes as well as the traditional band set up- guitar, bass, keys and drums. Unsurprisingly, from such a young artist with so much opportunity for new sound experimentation, the album is a little overwhelming with all the kinds of sonic inventions in contains throughout. I’m all for the the progressive sound, but editing would help mould the sound into a more comprehensible form. 

The likes of Jeff Beck and Paul Weller are always pushing us forward in music experimenting in their writing- lyrics, instrumentation and structure- but they have mastered the ability to take all their broad ideas and create cohesive collections of their music. That is what may be the missing ingredient in What Do You Think About The Car?