Enter Shikari — Nothing is True & Everything is Possible — Album Review

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Alternative | Electronic Rock

Listen on Spotify | Listen on Apple Music

My enjoyment towards UK alternative band Enter Shikari, up to this point, had been somewhat of a downhill slope. After being introduced to the band through their third studio album A Flash Flood Of Colour, they quickly became an important staple of my teenhood, and the aforementioned album became one of my favourites of the 2010's.

Furthermore, I also cannot deny just how legendary their previous two projects, 2007's Take To The Skies, and 2009’s Common Dreads were. While I did explore these two projects after their third, their sense of innovation was absolute, and I would agree that it helped to shape the lives of many who grew up with those albums.

Unfortunately, things went a bit sour for both me and a lot of my friends upon the release of their following album The Mindsweep. I personally feel that the drastic stylistic change from what was borderline post-hardcore, to a heavily electronic sound. I would even stretch that they borrowed a fair few dubstep elements as well.

For me, this was the beginning of Enter Shikari’s decent, in terms of their appeal to me personally. However, the mindsweep almost seemed to have an opposite affect towards a vast majority of Brits. In-fact, I could assume that their new stylistic approach made them a way more accessible band.

This definitely seemed evident with their following album, and their most recent before 2020; The Spark. This album turned out to be a furtherment into their newer, nerdier sound. What frustrated me most with this project was that there were a few Shikari singles that came before it, that I actually enjoyed. However, they didn’t even make it onto The Spark in the end, and what I got instead was more uninteresting electronic noise (which I have always believed has never really suited Enter Shikari). As a result, my opinion towards the band had been soiled further, and they would’ve really had to have pulled it out of the bag with their next outing, in order for me to stay on-board.

After arriving in 2020, and a new decade entirely, I still had hope that Enter Shikari might make a return to their classic ways. And these hopes were further fuelled by the teaser tracks that arrived for this new album cycle, starting from February. With tracks like “{The Dreamer’s Hotel}” and “T.I.N.A” feeling like the first instances of traditional sounding Shikari tracks in quite a long time, this album would become somewhat of a dangling carrot before me, and I sincerely hoped that Nothing is True & Everything is Possible would become the bands return to form.

What this album ended up becoming, however, is an even more unusual venture. To mu dismay, the teaser tracks didn’t really do much to actually “tease” the album to come, as all four of them stylistically stuck out as the few gems on this project.

But with some of the tracks seemingly borrowing more musical influences from the likes of Coldplay and The 1975 in this outing, it still doesn’t really feel like I’m listening to an Enter Shikari album at many points. There are also many more classical instrumentations, along with a small helping of jazz instrumentation too. I think if anything teased this album well, it would be the cover art, as both the cover and the albums tracklist just have way too much going on. It basically feels like the band had maybe 5 different album concepts, and just mashed them all together into one big musical abomination.

This is neither a good or bad point for me to make, but the context of this album admittedly does carry a little of that political flare that Shikari had in their earlier works. However, this is countered by said political theme being drenched in a doom & gloom vibe. Or to put it in the language of the album, they behave like “apocaholics”.

While I’m on the topic of the “language of the album”, the way that some of the tracks are titled with unnecessary grammar symbols, glyphs, and different fonts really didn’t do anything for me except exude an annoying pretentiousness.

Of all of the tracks which were brand new listens upon the albums release, I feel that “satelites* *” was the only one worth keeping on my downloaded songs. Other than that, it was only the four teaser tracks that I had listened to prior. There were a couple of other tracks which I didn’t necessarily mind all too much, but the mid-section especially was bordering on unlistenable.

And while I would say that this album does thankfully make it as an improvement upon The Spark, and at least on par with The Mindsweep, it still falls into the collection of Shikari albums that I am not fond of, making it a strikeout of disappointing projects.

This album leaves me doubtful as to whether I will remain on the Shikari hype-train from here on out; they would honestly have to make an exceptional project next time in order to turn the tide.

Favourite Tracks: {The Dreamer’s Hotel} | T.I.N.A | satellites* *

Least Favourite Track: apocaholics anonymous (main theme in B minor)

SO Recordings | Silva Screen Records

5/10

My articles mainly revolve around music reviews and analysis. A bit like Anthony Fantano, but just a decade behind.

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