Country : UK / United Kingdom Label : XL Recordings / Matador Genres and styles : Hip Hop / Jazz / Pop / Post-Punk / Punk Year : 2020

Man Alive!

· by Alain Brunet

Archy Marshall has already amply demonstrated his talent and vision with The Ooz, highlighting his knack for blending jazz, post-punk, balladry, hip hop, gritty tone, organized chaos and deep sensuality. A schoolboy crooner, hungover bard, and dishevelled night owl, the young Englishman resurfaces with Man Alive! under the banner of King Krule. For those shaken by his previous recordings, this opus was eagerly awaited. The first listens of Man Alive! may not have the immediate impact of his previous efforts, given that he’s now a known quantity, but… the seeds of Man Alive! do finally sprout, slowly but surely.

As one might desire, baritone sax, jazzy guitars and occasional voices from beyond the grave are here, as are phone-message psalmodies and post-punk jolts. This approach is more broad, and less depressive and agitated than expected. It seems that Mr. Marshall is on the verge of becoming a father, dividing his time between South London and Cheshire, where he envisions a more peaceful existence with wife and child.

In a fit of newfound family-man orthodoxy, Marshall even confessed to wallowing in the “super bizarre” in The Ooz, to justify the reduction of contrasts in Man Alive! It’s a shame he’s so self-flagellating, because there will be those who judge this new offering, as sensual and fluid as it may be, as perhaps not “super bizarre” enough… although very successful, one has to admit over subsequent listens. And long live the family!

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