Music for the People (The Enemy album)

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Music for the People
Studio album by The Enemy
Released 27 April 2009 (2009-04-27)
Recorded 2008
Genre Indie rock, punk rock
Length 46:46
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Mike Crossey
The Enemy chronology
We'll Live and Die in These Towns
(2007)We'll Live and Die in These Towns2007
Music For The People
Streets in the Sky
Singles from Music for the People
  1. "No Time for Tears"
    Released: 13 April 2009
  2. "Sing When You're In Love"
    Released: 22 June 2009
  3. "Be Somebody"
    Released: 28 September 2009

Streets in the Sky2012

Music for the People is the second studio album by Coventry-based indie rock band The Enemy, which was released 27 April 2009. It entered the UK charts at number two, losing out on the number one spot to Bob Dylan's Together Through Life.

Background and recording[edit]

Following a short break, the trio spent the majority of autumn 2008 recording in rural Wales at Monnow Valley Studio in South Wales with producer Jim Anderson and Mike Crossey. Whilst the plan was to capitalise on the buzz from their debut, the band didn't rush the sessions. "We totally took our time," Clarke stated.[1]

In early 2009, The Enemy completed the recording of the album. On their official MySpace blog, the band described the album as a "big step forward", deciding to "go back to basics with the recording and do it all on tape rather than computers which is how the vast majority of modern records are made, and as a result it sounds huge, like a proper old school rock record".[2] They also described the album as having a more "raw and punkier sound",[3] whilst Clarke noted that, although he was aiming to address various issues with the album's lyrics, the band took a less organised approach in writing them;[4]

The lead single, "No Time For Tears", was debuted on BBC Radio 1 on 17 February 2009, including an interview with the band discussing tour dates and their "new sound".[5] The single was officially released on 13 April, with the album following a fortnight later on 27 April. As part of the promotion for the album, the band played a number of gigs in small, intimate venues throughout February 2009, in Lincoln, York, Dundee, Wakefield, Tunbridge Wells and Corby.

The video for the second single, "Sing When You're In Love", was debuted on T4 on 9 May 2009, and will be released on 22 June.[6]

The third single, "Be Somebody", was used as theme music for the video game by EA Sports, FIFA 10 and in ITV's FA Cup football coverage.[7]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 55/100[8]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2/5 stars link
BBC (scathing)[9]
Drowned In Sound (2/10) link 2/5 stars link
The Guardian 3/5 stars link
The Independent 2/5 stars link
musicOMH 1/5 stars link
NME (5/10) link
PopMatters (4/10) link
Spin (4/10) link

The album received mixed reviews scoring 4.5/10 at aggregator website AnyDecentMusic?,[10] and 55/100 at Metacritic.[8] NME gave the album 5 out of 10 stars in its review, stating that "Tom Clarke's lot aim for the stars but sadly fall painfully short."[11] John Earls of Planet Sound saw the LP as a progression from the band's debut album, but found fault with the lyrical content.[12]

The album was pilloried for its alleged plagiarism. Commenting on the opening track "Elephant Song", Drowned In Sound noticed its similarity to Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir".[13] "Last Goodbye" and its use of strings was compared to The Verve.[13][14] "Nation of Checkout Girls" was also derided for sounding identical to "Common People" by Pulp,[13] while another song on their album "Don't Break The Red Tape" has also been criticised for sounding similar to "London Calling" by The Clash.[9][13][14] The BBC described the album as "terrible", asking, "What did the people ever do to deserve this?"[9] Drowned In Sound concluded: "Never has reaching the end of a record been met with such a massive sigh of relief."[13]

In The Independent, Andy Gill called the album's title " if all other music were somehow against "the people" (whoever they are); or as if the band's modest creations had been officially sanctioned as fit for our ears". He was sceptical of the album's political content, writing that "I'm instinctively suspicious about this kind of eagerly populist music, which invariably hides naked commercial ambitions behind a facade of oppositional posturing".[15]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Elephant Song" – 4:39
  2. "No Time for Tears" – 5:15
  3. "51st State" – 2:30
  4. "Sing When You're in Love" – 3:37
  5. "Last Goodbye" – 4:52
  6. "Nation Of Checkout Girls" – 3:14
  7. "Be Somebody" – 3:04
  8. "Don't Break the Red Tape" – 3:42
  9. "Keep Losing" – 4:35
  10. "Silver Spoon" – 11:17 (Ends at 5:16, hidden track begins at 8:54)

Bonus tracks:

  1. "A New England" (Billy Bragg cover) – 2:51
  2. "Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black)" – 2:54
  3. "Keep Losing (Strings Version)" – 4:32
  4. "Away From Here (Live At Union Chapel)" – 3:28

iTunes bonus tracks:

  1. "This Song Is About You (Live At Glasgow Barrowlands Ballroom)" – 5:33
  2. "We'll Live And Die In These Towns (Live At Glasgow Barrowlands Ballroom)" – 3:00


  1. ^ Cochrane, Greg (2009-04-15). "The Enemy: 'Not a band of the people'". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-05-19. 
  2. ^ myspace
  3. ^ "The Enemy prepare 'punky' second album". 2008-10-22. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  4. ^ "The Enemy on the state". Retrieved 27 April 2009. 
  5. ^ "New single on radio tonight!". Retrieved 27 April 2009. 
  6. ^ "Exclusive: The Enemy want peace before playing on Oasis home turf". 2009-05-31. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  7. ^ Be Somebody Songfacts
  8. ^ a b "Metacritic – Music for the People". Metacritic. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  9. ^ a b c Power, Chris (30 April 2009). "What did the people ever do to deserve this?". BBC. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  10. ^ "Stadium indie rock on the second album from the English band". AnyDecentMusic?. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  11. ^ NME.COM
  12. ^ "The Enemy/Music For The People". Archived from the original on 5 May 2009. Retrieved 5 May 2009. 
  13. ^ a b c d e Gourlay, Dom (1 May 2009). "The Enemy: Music for the People". Drowned In Sound. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  14. ^ a b Dowden, Neil (27 April 2009). "The Enemy – Music For The People The song". musicOMH. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  15. ^ Gill, Andy (24 April 2009). "Album: The Enemy, Music for the People (Warner Brothers)". The Independent. Retrieved 10 March 2015.