The following was originally published on Exclaim.ca.
By Jessica Lewis
Coming to this Atlanta, GA-based band with new ears ― turns out they’re neither British nor an orchestra ― makes for a powerful introduction. A concept album of conversations between frontman Andy Hull to his wife, or God, there are many dark themes, lyrically, mainly about dealing with failure and Hull feeling sorry for himself. There’s a great deal of frustration and guilt packed in, but it’s laced with strong electric guitar pushes and percussion. It has the intention for fingers to bleed and ears to perk. Simple Math is aggressive (“Mighty”), tender (“Deer”) and sometimes both (“April Fool”). This means it changes pace constantly throughout, but as a concept album listened to in full for its effect, it works. Dan Hannon’s production is clean and grandiose; it’s an exciting release for new listeners and a look deeper into the band’s mentality for old fans. (Columbia)