“It may not possess the distorted riffs of their earlier work, but the sense of drama and dynamics remains intact”: Maybeshewill’s remix of Fair Youth is bright and articulate

Their fourth album returns, wrapped in bassist Jamie Ward’s ambition to make the music hit harder – although that’s not what the music itself suggests

(Image: © InsideOut / Superball)

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Leicester’s Maybeshewill celebrate the 10th anniversary of their fourth album as Fair Youth returns in a newly remixed and remastered edition.

Bassist Jamie Ward, who handled the remix, declared his intention to bring out the finer details of the arrangements and to make the music audibly hit harder. 

Upon its initial release the record saw Maybeshewill moving further away from the distorted guitars of their previous albums, heading into dreamier sonic territory – so hard-hitting isn’t necessarily what the music itself suggests.

Based purely on the vibe, it’s tempting to imagine 2014 as some sort of halcyon era, although the geopolitical events of the year don’t lend themselves to that interpretation. Perhaps it’s more cogent to read the album as a work of escapism: something to soothe the senses and provide a welcome balm to ease the irritations of life.

In that regard, it’s a different experience to the acerbic edges of Not For Want Of Trying from 2008, and its immediate predecessor 2011’s I Was Here For A Moment, Then I Was Gone. Here, the overall sound is gentle, with percolating synth lines that provide a comfortable mattress for the rest of the music to sit upon. The guitars paint in soft pastels and the mood is a warm, uplifting one.

Fair Youth may not possess the distorted riffs of their earlier work, but the sense of drama and dynamics remains intact. You And Me And Everything In Between builds from a sparse piano ostinato into sweeping vistas of layered guitars, while the title track is sprightly and light on its feet. 

There’s an intriguing, off-kilter beat to All Things Transient that prevents the track from becoming musical wallpaper just hanging in the background. Credit to Jamie Ward – the mix is bright and articulate.

Fair Youth (2024 Mix) is on sale now in multiple formats.

David West

After starting his writing career covering the unforgiving world of MMA, David moved into music journalism at Rhythm magazine, interviewing legends of the drum kit including Ginger Baker and Neil Peart. A regular contributor to Prog, he’s written for Metal Hammer, The Blues, Country Music Magazine and more. The author of Chasing Dragons: An Introduction To The Martial Arts Film, David shares his thoughts on kung fu movies in essays and videos for 88 Films, Arrow Films, and Eureka Entertainment. He firmly believes Steely Dan’s Reelin’ In The Years is the tuniest tune ever tuned.