It's a strange thing to marry inner demons and enigmatic lyrics to radio-friendly pop beats and familiar-sounding electronics, but that's exactly what Olly Alexander does with Years & Years debut album 'Communion', commanding the British trio to triumph with a collection of tunes that really deserve to be heard.

What we mean by that is that the work put into the lyrics on each of these songs needs to be appreciated. It's honest and hopeful but also tragic and disheartening at times. The question that all this boils down to is relatability - can the listener place themselves in the position of Olly and connect with every word he croons? The answer is a resounding 'YES'.

The group haven't just popped up out of nowhere as many would believe following their chart hits earlier in the year and win as the BBC Sound of 2015 - they're three artists who have been working towards one another for some time before today, with the Years & Years lineup shifting and changing multiple times before success was found.

Given the opportunity to experiment with the ingredients that mix together and bring perfect results, Years & Years are now a pop force to be reckoned with who shouldn't be taken any less seriously than any of their peers. They may have only just had their heads peek out from the surface, but if the songs on this debut are anything to go by, they're a group who can easily keep up with the trends while setting new ones.

Unfortunately the record is not without its faults. It could be argued that the tracks are reminiscent of a Sam Smith dance remix tune - and Olly does at times sound like he's morphed into Sam with a hint of Disclosure for good measure. This isn't a bad thing necessarily - both of those acts are huge heavy hitters in the industry - but it just means that what's included has been done before. Not often, but sometimes.

'Communion' is a record that listeners should split in half, listening to the first half in the morning and the second half at night to really enjoy what it has to offer. Hearing every song one after the other in one session means that they tend to all morph into one long and extraneous piece of music, with a couple of ballads thrown in to knock things off-kilter.

That aside we have to judge on what we've been presented with - a passionate and touching record with a couple of blemishes. For a debut it's outstanding to see just how in touch with their audience Years & Years are. May they continue on into more success and hone in on a unique sound that would really set them far and apart from the rest of the industry.

Years & Years' debut album 'Communion' is available now.


by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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