I have been of McFly for what feels like forever, and yet until 13th November 2020, I had never had the chance to eagerly anticipate the release of their latest album. I was completely blown away when I saw them in concert at the Keep Calm and Play Louder tour in 2012 and since then have seen then have met Tom at a book launch (and have him tweet that he read my book review!), seen them as McBusted in my unheard of hometown, and more recently, been to Danny’s solo concert in Manchester. That was just over a year ago and I remember then being very doubtful I would see them back together, so imagine my excitement that they were back together and making a new album. It had been a whole ten years since their last one, so of course I had very high hopes.
The album is a mixture of sounds that sum up McFly – the fun pop hits reminiscent of their early days, the pop-punk inspired tracks and the Springsteen-esque that are obviously Danny’s .
The album begins with Happiness, which they released during the summer as their first proper single in goodness knows how long. It is very feel good and cheery – it could turn a bad mood around in no time! Another Song About Love and Heads Up have a very similar feeling – incredibly catchy and positive. The lyrics are fun and easily memorable. Vocals come primarily from Tom on these, although we hear more of Danny in Another Song About Love, and I enjoy Dougie’s vocals on Heads Up.
You’re Not Special is similar to those three with a catchy and infectious beat, but I find its lyrics rather disheartening – I’m sure that wasn’t their aim, but the repeated ‘everybody else is just like you… you’re not special’ led me into somewhat of an existential crisis on first listen, making the fact it’s so catchy not ideal. It’s a weird one, because the sound of it is very upbeat, and yet the lyrics are a bit depressing!
Tonight Is The Night is the second single they released before the album, accompanied with a great video. This is easily the stand out track of the album. I adore the guitar riffs, the lyrics are sensational and Danny’s vocals in the chorus are incredible. This is going to be amazing live on tour.
We then come to Young Dumb Thrills and Growing Up, two tracks that I personally find myself skipping more than listening to. The pop-punk vibes are simply not my thing, although I know that Growing Up has been a lot of fans’ favourite. McFly have never featured any other artists on previous albums and these two collaborations with RATBOY and Mark Hoppus were not necessary this time round.
The tracks following those two constitute my favourite part of the album. Mad About You has a classic McFly feeling and the way it rises and falls really stands out. Sink Or Sing has a gorgeous ballad sound to it and really highlights Danny’s amazing vocal ability. Like I Can isn’t a stand out but I can’t complain about hearing Danny so much! Both Sink or Sing and Like I Can have a bit of a One Direction vibe – remember how McFly wrote Don’t Forget Where You Belong off Midnight Memories? These two have a very similar sound.
Wild and Young is another stand out track; it’s up with Tonight Is The Night for me. It’s no surprise that this was originally one of Danny’s solo tracks that I saw live on his tour. It is definitely inspired by his idol Bruce Springstreen and is such a powerful track, made even better now he’s accompanied by the rest of McFly for that strong beat.
Not The End brings us to the end of the album and has the most distinctive and unique intro of a McFly song ever. It’s one you inevitably end up swaying to and leaving in them laughing and joking around at the end is classic McFly. It really sums up where they are as a band right now and finishes the album perfectly.
The more I have listened to Young Dumb Thrills, the more it has cemented itself as a great McFly album, alongside the rest. Perhaps I enjoy the more powerful and rockier sound of Red, Touch the Rain and Hyperion that we got from The Lost Songs last year and perhaps I was hoping for something more reminiscent of Radio:ACTIVE, but that comes down to my personal taste. McFly have experimented with their sound on some tracks of this album, but it is also very fitting with their previous music. Tonight is The Night and Wild and Young have quickly become some of my favourite McFly songs ever, which is a real testament to how great they are.
I can’t wait to hear the album on tour – fingers crossed we’ll be back in those arenas eventually! What is your favourite album right now?