Though Manchester Orchestra has only been a proper band for a year and a half, this young quintet (with an average age of 19) has crafted an album that sounds more aware and traveled than many of its more aged peers. Led by singer / songwriter / guitarist Andy Hull, Manchester Orchestra's debut LP, I'm Like A Virgin Losing A Child , is a statement cinematic in scope - a series of emotional vignettes that delicately unravel over the course of an elegantly conceived musical arc that recalls both murky southern mysticism and the id borne bombast of the Pacific Northwest. Driven by lyrics that are insightful, spiritual and impressionistic, I'm Like A Virgin Losing A Child is a litany of intimate details presented in widescreen. With a tour of the UK already completed and tours supporting Brand New, Say Anything and Saves The Day under their belt, they should have no problem reaching their goal of playing at least 250 shows in 2007.
This album is not, as we had hoped, a mystical collaboration between Morrissey, Oasis and New Order. It is, in fact, so devoid of actual Mancunian influence it might as well have been made on Jupiter. That's not to say you should cast it aside in disgust at such flagrant false advertising-there's far more to this Atlanta-based five-piece's debut than meets the eye. The vocals sound like Conor Oberst having a nervous breakdown and there's a gloomy pall suspended over the whole affair that could probably kill the mood at a wake. Let's face it, we can all pinpoint this album's demographic with startling precision but for once let's set snobbery aside. After all, Madchester was aimed at parka-wearing pill-heads from Salford and now it's adored by mild-mannered middle Englanders everywhere. Best to get in on the act early. -- Gametap.com