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For Years and Years

It's a Musical

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Album Review

After four years off, It's a Musical returned with their second album For Years and Years. The duo of Ella Blixt and Robert Kretzschmar change things up a little bit sonically and the results are very pleasing. The core of their group is still the interplay between Blixt's keyboards, Kretzschmar's adept drumming, and the way their voices mesh together perfectly in unison or soar in harmony, but they add the occasional guitar to the mix along with a wider array of percussion instruments and keyboard sounds. The result is a fuller sound that gives the duo's introspective, unceasingly sweet tunes a little more kick. It's mostly a win, though a tiny bit of the fragile, almost awkward, feel of the debut is erased in the process. Despite this, there is still plenty of naked emotion of display. Between records the duo broke up romantically and you can hear traces of the fallout in the lyrics, the wistfulness in their voices, and the overall sense of melancholy that pervades the album. Even without knowing that little bit of inside knowledge, the record still has plenty of impact, not to mention lots of tracks that will stick with you thanks to the strong hooks and interesting arrangements. The bouncing Carole King-esque "One Million People" and "Pointback" are examples of the former; the off-kilter "Ljubljana" and the trumpet- and synth-enhanced (and really sad) "As Soon as I" the latter. The entire record is filled with well-crafted, cleverly arranged songs that show real progression from the duo. The cover of the Eleventh Hour's obscure 1997 gem "The Team That Never Wins" is perfectly chosen and played too. As with the first album, the easy comparison is with Mates of State. If It's a Musical keep making records that sound as good as For Years and Years though, people start comparing Mates of State to them instead.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

It's a Musical's buoyant, brainy indie pop tunes, similar to other projects by co-founder Ella Blixt (Bobby Baby, Bobby & Blumm), nod to acts like Hello Seahorse!, Mates of State, and Architecture in Helsinki. Blixt met Robert Kretzschmar (also of Lady Boy), who would become the other half of It's a Musical, in 2006 while she was living in Malmö, Sweden, and working on her recordings as Bobby Baby. The two started working on It's a Musical's debut album in 2008, after Blixt moved to Berlin, Germany....
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For Years and Years, It's a Musical
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