Album Review: Declan Mckenna – Zeros


Declan Mckenna returns with his second album ‘Zeros’ through Columbia Records. The album was recorded in the ‘Music City’ of Nashville. ‘Zeros’ had the original August release date delayed but the wait is now over.

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‘Zeros’ follows his 2017’s critically acclaimed album ‘What Do You Think About The Car?‘ ‘Zeros’ is definitely the big brother of his first album, it shows growth in the sounds, providing political lyrics made for the current generation of today and the new world that we find ourselves in. The influence of David Bowie Shines through this album, with a huge Sci-Fi feel and the experimental use of instruments.

Opening song ‘You Better Believe!!!‘ immediately opens your ears to Mckenna’s range of tones, the constant range of background sounds keep your brain engaged throughout and along with Declan’s clever lyrics that cover the hot topics in the world today, you can’t ask for a stronger start to an LP.

His cleverly named ‘Be an Astronaut‘ speaks of chasing your dreams however hard you may fall and fail. The vision of many people singing along with a pure passion for this at his live gigs keeps me hopeful for live music in the future. The guitar riff has a particularly 80s rock band sound to it which shows how diverse this album comes across.

The Key to Life on Earth‘ is a brave shout to the working class with the lyrics “Call in to wake you up in the morning, iron your suit and tie forever till you die.” particularly standing out. Calling out the capitalist society that we also live in and what is expected from us. ‘The Key to Life on Earth‘ has a brilliant video staring ‘The End of the Fucking World’ actor and Declan Mckenna look-a-like Alex Lawther.

Beautiful faces‘ stands up by speaking about the ascetically pleasing world we now live in with no true belief of what’s real and what’s not, these are just some tastes of what the album has to offer. Speaking of Beautiful faces Mckenna explains,

so I wanted it to be a big song… Scary big. It very much relates to now, but I wanted to reimagine social media in this future-sphere where it has become even more immersive so that we cannot see where it ends and we begin.

Rapture‘ stands out as the big moment on ‘Zeros’ and is definitely a future huge stomper at a McKenna’s live shows.

With Nashville being the City of Music it’s clear to see that it has had a huge influence in the making of this album, along with Mckenna’s mesmerizing songwriting about being a youth in an intimidating society. Mckenna’s unique storytelling tone sets the scene throughout this album, described as “A world-building album, that this new world builds just as the world we know ends.” Thspecialhat makes ‘Zeros’ so special, Mckenna is brave enough to speak about those topics that face the youth of today whilst also adding the magic of his tone and wide range of sounds which provides a uniqueness to the whole album.

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