Nothing But Thieves’ Broken Machine: Album Review

By Tamsin Mathias

Nothing But Thieves released their second studio album, Broken Machine on September 8, and we here at Geek Notes are absolutely in love!

This British band, fronted by Conor Mason with his incredible vocals, is one of our absolute favourites. And, following on from their first album, Nothing But Thieves have given us another musical masterpiece.

The album, written from the point of view of someone suffering with depression, is something that millions around the world will be able to relate to, with songs like ‘Sorry’, the title track ‘Broken Machine’, as well as tracks like ‘Soda’ and ‘Afterlife’.

The mix between soft songs and tracks with a bit more ‘oomph’ is perfect. Kicking off the album with upbeat tracks entitled ‘I Was Just A Kid’ and ‘Amsterdam’, Nothing But Thieves captures our attention and draws us in to this wonderfully written album.

Then, bringing us in with genius lyrics and a stunning melody, which Conor sings so beautifully, we have ‘Sorry’. Just listen to the lyrics and the emotion in Conor’s voice. Even if you don’t understand what he’s singing about, there’s something special about this track and the amount of might he puts into it.

Leading on from ‘Sorry’, we have the title track ‘Broken Machine’. The lyrics are pretty self explanatory, as Conor compares himself to – you guessed it – a broken machine with layers of dust and wheels that are beginning to jam.

With a brilliant groove and beat, this is a track that at first we weren’t sure whether or not we liked. But, we listened. We really listened. And we heard what an amazing track this really is.

Bringing us further into the album with ‘Soda’ and ‘Particles’, Nothing But Thieves bring us softly sung lyrics with a vibrant and full sound to accompany them.

The, one of our favourite tracks on the album, ‘Get Better’, kicks us in the arse with a riff that will be stuck in your head for … well … forever maybe? But seriously – we don’t mind.

That rocking riff that takes us through to the chorus, leads us into Conor’s booming vocals perfectly, who asks ‘Am I gonna get better?”

If you’ve ever been there, you’ll know that this is a question that you will ask yourself every single day if your mood is low enough.

We love that ‘Get Better’ has a strong meaning through the upbeat and rocky sound. Whilst the band has said in the past that they’d prefer to leave their lyrical meaning up to us. Guitarist, Joe Langridge-Brown, told MTV: “We try not to say too much about the lyrics. One of our favourite things is for something to say to us ‘oh I think the song is about this’. It’s not, but that’s so nice for us to hear.”

We here at Geek Notes have interpreted the lyrics of ‘Get Better’ as a song about depression and suicide, with questions about whether or not the ‘thought disease’ will ever fade. But, you forget about that, because the song is written so well. And that’s why it’s so special.

Whilst some may find the lyrics and feel of the music ‘depressing’, as one might say, we here at Geek Notes feel that Nothing But Thieves has captured the emotions that millions of us feel, put them onto paper and turned them into a masterpiece.

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