Luke James
Luke James

CLUNK Magazines chief album review guy and a lover of cats!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Label: Warner Music UK

After giving us the appetiser of ‘Total Serene’ EP in 2021, Gang of Youths now treat us with the full three course dinner in their new album ‘angel in realtime.’ Where ‘Total Serene’ seemed to hint towards a new larger sound, ‘angel in realtime.’ is a full panoramic, cinematic record with gorgeous layers and music that soars and opens up like a huge sky ahead of you as you drive.

Opener ‘you in everything’ reads almost as a eulogy to frontman Dave Le’Aupepe’ father. It is the start of an album which is filled with tributes and memories of his father. As ‘you in everything’ reaches its crescendo, it’s a cathartic and beautifully written celebration of life. The addition of multi-instrumentalist Tom Hobden (formerly of Noah and the Whale) offers much in the way of depth to each song and the array of instrumentation that helps convey the feeling.

‘in the wake of your leave’ and ‘the angel of 8th ave.’ soar with the bounce of each track backed by a band that feels like it’s doubled in size such is the scale of the music. Le’Aupepe’s autobiographical and verbose lyrical delivery plays out beautifully over orchestral scores and rousing guitar.

‘spirit boy’ is a soaring power ballad suited to an arena whereas ‘unison’ and ‘the kingdom is within you’ use electric drums and strings to create epic, uplifting beasts.

In ‘angel of realtime.’ Gang of Youths have not just hit their stride but they are at their peak. With widescreen, epic songs interspersed with heartfelt and emotional moments recounting Le’Aupepe’s life, ‘angel in realtime.’ is a collection of songs in the truest sense with each one seemingly having heart and soul poured in to it.

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