Nearly three years after their wildly successful third album Sinners Never Sleep, You Me At Six are back at it again with Cavalier Youth. As reflected in the title, the album exudes a certain youthful optimism through its sense of recklessness, defiance, and ultimately hope for the future, adding up to some of the band’s most impressive work to date.
The album starts out with the carefree “Too Young To Feel This Old”, immediately showing the listeners the new direction the band has taken with a sense of resolution. Singer Josh Franceschi questions his own life, asking, “Can we learn to love again? / Can we learn to feel again? / Because we’re too young to feel this old.” This song isn’t just about relationships – it’s also about finding an identity for yourself and learning to live in its truest form.
“Lived A Lie”, the first single off the record, kicks off with an easily-recognizable guitar riff. It’s certain to be a crowd favorite with its signature gang chant of “We are believers” standing strong and adding more emotion to the already powerful song. The song is followed by the next, more sinister single, “Fresh Start Fever,” which features gritty piano and showcases Franceschi’s powerful vocals over a clever layering of instruments to add to the fast-paced, urgent feel. There’s no denying that this track stands out from the rest of the more cheerful tracks on the record.
“Forgive And Forget” takes on a darker turn lyrically, with lines like, “We used to talk for hours / But you don’t hear my voice now / Can we forgive and forget?” slowing down the album for a more somber moment. The dark feel continues with “Room To Breathe”, adding a tone of defiance and rebellion with lyrics about breaking free and the fight to stay strong.
Acting as a transition between the album’s heavier tones and lighter lyrics, “Win Some, Lose Some” continues the theme of being cavalier and “moving onto better things” as it shows the reckless attitude of the record. There’s no missing the Hunger Games allusion that managed to slip into the song as well, which is certain to catch the ears of fans of the books or movies. “Love Me Like You Used To” comes soon after, with aggressive guitars and an infectious drum beat that’s sure to have crowds bouncing.
The shortest track on the record, “Be Who You Are,” is one of those love songs that has a classic feel to it, with a lyrical theme of being true to yourself. Though optimistic, the song ends all too soon at just 1:48 and leaves the listener wanting more. “Wild Ones” wraps up the album, showing a more vulnerable side as Franceschi asks new questions like, “Are we gonna live forever?” in stark contrast to the defiance shown in the previous songs. Uplifting doesn’t even begin to describe this track as it looks towards the future and encourages listeners to stay positive and make the most of whatever life brings.
Cavalier Youth without a doubt represents growing up, with some of the most mature lyrics and impressive music we’ve ever heard from You Me At Six. The record leaves the listener with a powerful message: take charge of your life and live without regret, moving on from the things that hold you down.