THE TRIFFID ALBUM OF THE WEEK: MAN ALIVE! BY KING KRULE

28 February 2020 | Blog

February 26 – March 3

Archy Marshall, better known by his stage name King Krule, is a vocalist and multi instrumentalist from Southwark, England. Combining elements of Jazz, Post Punk and Hip-Hop; Marshall’s sound has always been distinct. Transitioning from a more Punk styled sound on his first studio album 6 Feet Below The Moon to the Jazz Fusion ladened hooks on his third album The Ooz, Archy has displayed an expansive knowledge of various genres of music and how to effectively incorporate them into his own unique style.

On his 4th studio album Man Alive!, Marshall has significantly matured. After marrying his long-term girlfriend and having a child together, the once troubled musician now has purpose in his life, strongly influencing his lyricism. Lyrics that once spoke about depression and heartache, now reflect his change in lifestyle, more often appreciating the little things like skipping stones, or taking a bath, while still also expressing a confusion and displacement with the outside world.

Man Alive! feels and listens like a more focused, concise version of The Ooz. While still utilising the same Neo-Psychedlia and Art-Rock styles of instrumentation seen on the former, Archy’s 4th studio album has evolved sonically and lyrically. While the lyricism has certainly improved in mood from previous releases; Man Alive! still has a similar moody, despondent aesthetic to it. It plays like the soundtrack to someone experiencing a quarter life crisis, only to realise they’ve been happy and fulfilled the whole time. The album opens with Cellular, the third single released in the lead up to Man Alive!.

Marshall has performed this song live for a number of years under the name I Phone My X; although the studio version has a much airier, ambient vibe to it instead of the chaotic, Punk flavours of the live cut. The first half of the album is where the heavier, higher tempo tracks primarily live; with slower, Jazz infused cuts populating the second half. Archy manically, shout-rapping on Stoned Again and his scream fading into a powerful saxophone riff on Comet Face are particularly standout moments. Archy Marshall may not have changed momentously from his last record; but he has both refined and evolved his sound in a way that makes this album feel like the older, wiser counterpart to 2017’s The Ooz.

A strong Neo-Psychedlic experience, Man Alive! both demands your attention, and is well worth your time.

REVIEWED BY PICKLE.