Hold Me Down

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Hold Me Down
Studio album by You Me at Six
Released 11 January 2010
(see release history)
Recorded August–November 2009 at Outhouse Studios, Reading, England
Genre Pop punk, alternative rock, pop rock
Length 40:37
Label Virgin
Producer Matty O'Grady, John Mitchell
You Me at Six chronology
Take Off Your Colours
(2008)
Hold Me Down
(2010)
Sinners Never Sleep
(2011)
Singles from Hold Me Down
  1. "The Consequence (Promotional Single)"
    Released: 25 November 2009
  2. "Underdog"
    Released: 8 February 2010
  3. "Liquid Confidence"
    Released: 19 April 2010
  4. "Stay with Me"
    Released: 5 September 2010

Hold Me Down is the second full-length studio album by English pop punk band You Me at Six, released on January 11, 2010 through Virgin Records[1] as the follow-up to 2008's Take Off Your Colours. It is the band's first release on the major label Virgin Records. Like their debut album, the album was once again produced and engineered by Matt O'Grady and mixed by David Bendeth. The promotional single titled "The Consequence" was made available for free digital download before the first official lead single, "Underdog" preceded the album's release. Despite receiving mixed reviews, Hold Me Down was a commercial success and debuted at No. 5 on the UK Albums Chart and is certified Gold in the UK for 100,000 shipments of copies.

Background, writing and recording[edit]

On 11 November 2009, Josh Franceschi announced via his Twitter account that their second album was completed, and would be released in early 2010.[2] AbsolutePunk.net later announced the album would be titled Hold Me Down and would be released through Virgin Records on 11 January 2010.[3] In interviews leading up to the album's release Josh Franceschi stated the recording process took around 6–7 weeks, as opposed to the 2 weeks of its predecessor, Take Off Your Colours.[4]

They worked with Matt O'Grady (producer/engineer) and had David Bendeth (Paramore, Breaking Benjamin) mix. Bob Ludwig (Radiohead, The Rolling Stones and Pearl Jam) mastered the album after the band had sought a "record that sounded really big on CD".[4] Lyrically and musically, Franceschi believes the album is a step forward for the band: "Well I guess it's mature just because it really is for us, and my side of things, like we really kind of feel like we developed our sound a lot and we took all the good things, or the things we thought were good from Take Off Your Colours and developed them and developed our ideas. And we took a lot more time writing songs which I think was really important, the album like forming the way it did. I think it’s definitely a step in the right direction for our band".[4] He also stated that lyrics on the album were influenced by breaking up with his girlfriend during the last year, as well as problems he has with the modern music industry. "It was very therapeutic because it just kind of allowed me to write and say things that I’d wanted to say about like the music industry itself for a long, long time. I’m happier in the sense that I didn’t put in things that were kind of rude or could be taken wrongly. It’s nothing to do with journalists, is more to do with people involved in it and some of the girls that go to the shows and stuff. It is kind of not really what I want to have anything to do with, so that was really cool. I broke up with my girlfriend just before we went into record it, and so obviously I wanted to avoid writing just about that so I really did try and like look back on my life in the last 12 months and… so yeah… I that I think it worked out pretty well."[4]

The album also features guest vocals from Aled Phillips of Kids in Glass Houses on "There's No Such Thing as Accidental Infidelity" (misprinted as "Trophy Eyes" in the album's liner notes) and Sean Smith of The Blackout on first single, "The Consequence".[5] Prior to release the band stated they were very happy that the album "reflects our growth as people and musicians".[6]

Release and promotion[edit]

The band announced that the first single from the album would be titled, "The Consequence", available for free digital download from their official website.[5][7] The free download was accompanied with a music video.[8] First official single, "Underdog" was confirmed by the band on their official website and received its first play on Nick Grimshaw's BBC Radio 1 show on December 17.[9] The video for "Underdog" was released through the band's MySpace page on 28 December 2009.[10]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[11]
BBC Music (mixed)[12]
The Independent (unfavorable)[13]
In the News 8/10[14]
Kerrang! KKKK[15]
Metro 3/5 stars[16]
The Observer (unfavorable)[17]
Rock Sound 8/10[18]
The Skinny 2/5 stars[19]
Sputnikmusic 3/5[20]

Hold Me Down received mixed reviews from music critics upon its release, ranging from high praise to criticism in equal measure. Tim Newbound reviewed the album in the January 2010 edition of British magazine Rock Sound. He was largely favorable and awarded a score of 8/10. He made comparisons with New Found Glory's 2000 self-titled album; "the album boasts a glorious sense of youthful exuberance, arguably only bettered by their US peers New Found Glory's 2000 self-titled effort… These boys are far from copycats though. There are way too many melodic rock/pop-punk bands in the world who are happy to ride on the coattails of others; throughout Hold Me Down, You Me at Six have instead pushed themselves to create a record that will delight existing fans and should rightfully attract many more".[18] Kerrang! magazine were also favourable and gave the album an "excellent" four K rating. David McLaughlin stated that "this time around You Me at Six have spiked the mix and created a cocktail so sweetly addictive that the faithful might just have to get used to sharing this band with many more". He also complimented the band's progression by adding, "It's not so much that the songs themselves that impress, but rather how much it shows this band are growing".[15]

Joe Barton of The Skinny was less favourable however, only awarding two stars out of five. He lamented, "any of the dozen tracks of Hold Me Down, despite being flawlessly executed, could just as easily have been knocked out by teen-adored Hoobastank or Taking Back Sunday. That being said, this kind of music has a rabid audience. If they’d only been a few years older, though, they would have the Arctic Monkeys to idolise… you can’t help feeling these kids have been short-changed".[19] More unfavorable reviews also followed from British newspapers; Simon Price of The Independent bemoaned, "From the action-packed band name to the obligatory long song titles, from the witless blare of the vocals to the compressed blandness of the guitar sound, this is bog-standard emo ordinaire".[13] Kitty Empire of The Observer criticized the album's lack of originality; "Polished, punchy Hold Me Down is their second album, replete with bouncy dramas about loyalty, betrayal and other perils of young love. Its sole insight is contained in the song title 'There's No Such Thing As Accidental Infidelity'; not even the most fine-meshed musical sieve could unearth any originality here".[17]

BBC critic Raziq Rauf gave a mixed review, but was ultimately disappointed with Hold Me Down. He summarised his article by stating the album was, "simply a carefully polished and highly competent, nearly retrospective collection of pop-rock songs from a band that, even at a young age, has nothing to say that hasn't been said by others before them (and, unarguably, said better). As 'Fireworks' closes the album, Franceschi moans about a girl who blew her chance; you can’t help but think You Me At Six, in such a privileged position, have done the same".[12] A staff reviewer for Sputnikmusic was more favorable, awarding a "good" three out of five score. Despite criticizing an "Americanised" sound, the review offered praise to the band's progression; "Josh Franceschi’s vocals have clearly improved from the occasionally whiny attributes of his past, while the music on show has a much fuller sound. Thankfully, the better songs still have a multitude of hooks to keep you singing along and there is nothing downright awful included. It is just hoped that next time around, these strengths can be coupled with greater imagination and ambition".[20] Arwa Haider of British newspaper Metro, also awarded the album three stars out of five. Although stating the band have "stuck to a formula", she praised the "assured performances". She wrote, "Admittedly, their angry outbursts (Safer To Hate Her) and cod-American drawling stick to a well-worn formula but it’s one spiced up with ample punch, pop and prettiness".[16]

Ben Brady, journalist for In the News gave a glowing review for the album. Awarding a score of 8/10, he complimented the album's direction; "Debut offering Take Off Your Colours was a good album, with pieces of great, however tracks swayed between pop punk and rock and to listen to the LP in full it didn't always have a clear direction. With their second full studio effort, that direction has been discovered as the heavier elements start to show through, while maintaining the catchy crowd pleasing sing alongs; as an example, the slightly predictable nature of first single 'Underdog' demonstrates there is something here for everyone".[14] Niki Boyle of Scottish newspaper The List was also more favourable. Scoring the album at 3/5, she stated, "Chances are, if you liked YMA6’s first effort Take Off Your Colours, you’ll find plenty to like here. Spiky pop-punk riffs, catchy choruses and guest vocalists from The Blackout and Kids in Glass Houses ensure there’s nothing to disappoint the fans".[21]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Josh Franceschi, Matt Barnes, and Dan Flint, all music composed by You Me at Six[22].

No. Title Length
1. "The Consequence" (featuring Sean Smith of The Blackout) 4:26
2. "Underdog"   2:22
3. "Playing the Blame Game"   3:05
4. "Stay with Me"   3:14
5. "Safer to Hate Her"   3:17
6. "Take Your Breath Away"   3:02
7. "Liquid Confidence (Nothing to Lose)"   3:11
8. "Hard to Swallow"   3:24
9. "Contagious Chemistry"   3:29
10. "There's No Such Thing as Accidental Infidelity" (featuring Aled Phillips of Kids in Glass Houses) 3:46
11. "Trophy Eyes"   2:50
12. "Fireworks"   4:19
Total length:
43:28

Personnel[edit]

The following personnel contributed to Hold Me Down:[22]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalogue # Ref.
United Kingdom January 11, 2010 Virgin Records Digital Download, Compact Disc CDV3071 [24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hold Me Down ~ You Me at Six". Amazon. Retrieved 13 December 2009. 
  2. ^ Francheschi, Josh (2 November 2009). "typing lyrics up for the album booklet. New album out early 2010 people. I am so happy, you guys are actually going to hear it!! Beenawhile". Twitter. 
  3. ^ DeAndrea, Joe. "You Me at Six Album Info". AbsolutePunk.net. Retrieved 11 November 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Interview - You Me At Six". Virgin Records. Retrieved 18 November 2009. 
  5. ^ a b "News - You Me At Six Offer Free Download". Rock Sound. Retrieved 25 November 2009. 
  6. ^ "News - You Me At Six Talk Hold Me Down". Rock Sound. Retrieved 2009-11-23. 
  7. ^ DeAndrea, Joe. "Free You Me at Six Single". AbsolutePunk.net. Retrieved 25 November 2009. 
  8. ^ "You Me At Six - The Consequence (Official Video)". YouTube. Retrieved 16 December 2009. 
  9. ^ "Brand new single - first play on BBC Radio 1 tonight!!". You Me at Six Official Website. Retrieved 17 December 2009. 
  10. ^ Solomon, Blake. "You Me Underdog". AbsolutePunk.net. Retrieved 27 December 2009. 
  11. ^ Birchmeier, Jason. "Hold Me Down". Allmusic. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
  12. ^ a b Rauf, Raziq (14 January 2009). "The Surrey youngsters fail to establish their own pop-punk identity". BBC Music (BBC). Retrieved 14 January 2009. 
  13. ^ a b Price, Simon. "Album: You Me at Six, Hold Me Down (Virgin)". The Independent. Retrieved 10 January 2009. 
  14. ^ a b Brady, Ben. "You Me At Six: Hold Me Down". In the News. Retrieved 14 January 2009. 
  15. ^ a b McLaughlin, David (6 January 2010), "You Me At Six: Hold Me Down (Virgin) KKKK", Kerrang! (1294): 50 
  16. ^ a b Haider, Arwa (11 January 2009). "You Me At Six stick to a formula". Metro (Associated Newspapers Ltd). Retrieved 13 January 2009. 
  17. ^ a b Empire, Kitty. "You Me At Six: Hold Me Down". The Observer. Retrieved 10 January 2009. 
  18. ^ a b Newbound, Tim. "You Me At Six - Hold Me Down. This is the start of a very big year for You Me At Six…". Rock Sound. Retrieved 11 January 2009. 
  19. ^ a b Barton, Joe. "You Me At Six - Hold Me Down". The Skinny. Retrieved 4 January 2009. 
  20. ^ a b Boy, Davey (Staff). "You Me At Six: Hold Me Down". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 14 January 2009. 
  21. ^ Boyle, Niki. "You Me At Six: Hold Me Down". The List. Retrieved 7 January 2009. 
  22. ^ a b Hold Me Down (CD). You Me At Six. Virgin Records. 2010. CDV3071. 
  23. ^ "British album certifications – You me at Six – Hold Me Down". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Hold Me Down in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  24. ^ "Hold Me Down (2010)". HMV. Retrieved 2009-09-15.