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iTunes Review

Andy Hull’s admirable work with the Manchester Orchestra and Kevin Devine’s provocative solo releases are relevant to the music on II—but these songs stand on their own as finely crafted and often moving expressions of longing. Here, Bad Books achieve a lean, taut sound that shifts from surging power-pop exercises like “No Reward” to quietly intense guitar/vocal numbers like “Lost Creek.” Hull’s Manchester Orchestra mates Jonathan Corley and drummer Ben Homola provide sturdy rhythmic support, with guitarist Robert McDowell and keyboardist Chris Freeman adding sparse but telling instrumental colors. The lyrics are exquisitely detailed and shot through with angst, reaching a level of romantic obsession worthy of early Jonathan Richman. “The After Party,” “Forest Whitaker," and “It Never Stops” temper their torment with dark flashes of humor. Especially haunting—and perversely funny—is “Pyotr,” a tale of love and revenge in Czarist Russia. Hull and Devine seamlessly fuse their individual visions of heartache, keeping listeners focused on their disquieting confessions along with the overall finesse of their music.

Customer Reviews


Waited a long time for this and it certainly was worth it. An absolutely excellent album.

Bad Books II

This is not Manchester Orchestra. This is not Kevin Devine & the GDB. This is Bad Books, and its awesome. Obviously there's influences from their other bands, but Bad Books has a different sound that I really like.


I like it a lot


Formed: 2010 in New York, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '10s

After serving as opening acts on Brand New's 2007 tour, Manchester Orchestra’s Andy Hull and solo artist Kevin Devine began working together in spurts. After releasing a split EP in January 2010, the two launched Bad Books, a collaborative side project featuring vocals and songwriting contributions...
Full Bio

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II, Bad Books
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