Andy Hull promised that his band, Manchester Orchestra, would follow up their second album, Mean Everything To Nothing, with an album that wouldn't just be a step up, but "an entire staircase." As hyperbolic as that may seem, he is absolutely correct. Simple Math still features some of the heavier aspects of METN, but they're dirtier and hit in the right place every time. Add in some huge orchestral tracks and a children's choir, and you have a bonafide album of the year contender. "Mighty" is delightfully epic, while "Virgin" is incredibly eerie and poignant. "Pensacola" might be the "poppiest" you'll ever hear ManOrch, as gang vocals join forces with horns to create some sort of Format-ManOrch hybrid beast track. There are still great, striking softer moments on the album too, including "Pale Black Eye" and the 7 and half minute closer, "Leaky Breaks."
Overall, fans of the band will be very pleased with Simple Math, the perfect step - excuse me- staircase up from Mean Everything To Nothing.