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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

Bad Books 2 even better than the first!!!

Amazing album especially the song Pyotr, heard Andy do this live (Awesome btw), it's about how Peter the great made his wife keep her lovers head in a jar in their castle for cheating on him. It's a funny yet beautiful premise and just shows how great of songwriters these men are… Amazing


Great album from a great group of musicians.


There are some killer songs in this album. And best of all the album cover is off the wanker dawg. Great talent if ya know what I mean, keep o. Rockin Bad Books!


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...
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II, Bad Books
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