[FAVORITE ALBUMS 2016] GLASS ANIMALS ‘HOW TO BE A HUMAN BEING’
HOW TO BE A HUMAN BEING
Glass Animals‘ sophomore album How To Be A Human Being is a pretty big departure from their first release, ZABA, in 2014. While earlier songs like “Gooey” and “Black Mambo” were pretty self-explanatory with their sticky sweet sounds and dependable beats, How To Be A Human Being serves to give us a wider breadth of both Glass Animals’ musical talent and their ability as storytellers.
To elaborate on their album’s titular instruction, Glass Animals have created their own world, 70’s themed and sepia toned, with a cast of characters meant to narrate each track. The Oxford-based band used Tumblr posts and mood boards to tease the album prior to its release, exciting fans with both the clues and their fun presentation. Clearly, the band knows what they want to say with How To Be A Human Being, evident with its thoroughly developed aesthetic. What’s more, you can find websites created specifically for each song. As of this writing, there are three, for “Life Itself,” “Youth,” and “Season 2 Episode 3,” with more to come soon. What’s more, each site, just like the character that inspires it, is thoroughly developed, embellished with details such as an 8-bit version of “Youth” on its respective site. Although the album came out back in August, it’s not finished. No complaints here.
Each track conveys a different mood, a different feeling, a different perspective. From “Youth”‘s sweet nostalgia to the sad story of abandoned love in “The Other Side of Paradise,” each track is a story. Together, they form a collection of tales. Even Glass Animals can’t tell us for sure “how to be human beings” — but, at least, they provide a great soundtrack to play while we figure it out.
//Key tracks: “Season 2 Episode 3,” which samples Chicago synthesizer McFabulous’s “I Live Above the Hobby Shop”; Justin-Timberlake-Cry-Me-A-River-esque “Cane Shuga”; and remixes — particularly Roosevelt’s “Life Itself” mix.