Damn hard work has ensured that Maybeshewill are now on the cusp of a breakthrough with their fourth album, Fair Youth. The first three albums all had their strengths and progressed either through changes of sound, the addition of strings for example, and changes in production.

The first thing that strikes you as the album progresses is the sense of wonder and optimism, in their music. This is encapsulated by the swirling melodies of You and Me and Everything in Between, and the more driving 80’s pop electronica (A smidgen of Joy Division maybe?) of the title track.

Asiatic is a little more downbeat, with its strings weaving subtly in the background. Waking Life while more bombastic, dips in and out of the bombast adding some colour but not disrupting the flow.
The album closes with In the Blind and Volga, the former an edgy shoegazy meditation, while the latter brings to mind Vangelis with its gentle piano intro gradually embellished by synths, and the seamless introduction of a choir and it really is quite beautiful.

The performances and production are in sync and the sound that the band has achieved is huge and rich, but also uncomplicated, and inviting. Saying that, it may need a little work on the part of the listener as it can at first sound samey, and its only through listening to it a few times that the subtleties and variety of sounds start to come through. The kitchen sink may well be in here somewhere but you’d be hard pressed to find it.