How to Be a Human Being
Aug 22, 2016 Web Exclusive
Glass Animals proved themselves worthy of all the early-bird hype with ZABA, their psychedelic dance debut from 2014. If you loved that record, How to Be a Human Being is good news. It picks up where ZABA left off with remarkable consistency, nailing the same strides and then some, keeping up with the expectations while completely decimating them. If ZABA was a weird and lovable new friend, How to Be a Human Being exploits that familiarity to test some new boundaries, and the result is delightfully entertaining.
Opening track "Life Itself" is funky and overflowing with slacker bravado in lyrics about chronic unemployment, "I can't get a job, so I live with my mom/I take her money, but not quite enough/so I sit in the car and listen to static/she said I look fat, but I look fantastic." Lyrics this confidently self-deprecating are bound to get stuck in your head. "Season 2 Episode 3" is a pleasant R&B surprise, pulsing a sound the likes of Justin Timberlake would envy, while also boasting pleasant chiptune melodies. "Youth" temptingly echoes the hook from their previous semi-hit, "Gooey," but that doesn't mean this record is repetitive, or even the dreaded disappointing sophomore dud. It is solid, at times brilliant, but mostly just a pleasant work of original groove material. The ghostly noises in "Mama's Gun" drill little sonic holes into your head, where the rest of the tune can fill in, never to leave.
Perhaps the most perplexing moment, among many, is "Premade Sandwiches," a kind of hyper rhythmic 2016 answer to Radiohead's "Fitter Happier," but instead of an introspective self-improvement mantra, it is a tirade about the senselessness of modern human behavior. An appropriate summary of How to Be a Human Being; why do we humans waste so much time standing around when we can dance? (www.glassanimals.eu)
Author rating: 8/10
Average reader rating: 9/10
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