Bad Books – Forest Whitaker

The second collaboration between singer/songwriter Kevin Devine and Andy Hull of Manchester Orchestra, Bad Books II finds these two extraordinary tune smiths untethered from their respective brands, joining forces to reach new stylistic and emotional terrain. Accompanied by members of Manchester Orchestra – with guitarist Robert McDowell also producing and keyboardist/percussionist Chris Freeman once again supplying distinctive album art – Hull and Devine offer up a series of magnificently etched songs which light upon everything from anthemic stadium rock (“The After Party”) and reflective balladry (“42”) to energetic bubblegum (“No Sides”), gloriously baroque psychedelia (“Petite Mort”), and whistling big beat pop (“Forest Whitaker”). The real-time sound of a group of talented friends synthesizing into something altogether more cohesive and accessible, Bad Books II reveals a remarkable new band in the truest sense, emboldened and at ease enough to set out together for places unknown.

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