"Paul Is Alive" is intricate and pretty, reminiscent of the wonderful East River Pipe at their dreamy best.
Paul Duffus: You look away for five minutes and Matt Berninger turns into Jürgen Klopp. Seriously, check out the video. The hair, the glasses. Shouldn't he be in Liverpool, strategising instead of making moody pop music and writing songs about me?
Anyhow while "Paul Is Alive" isn't exactly a full throttle gegenpress, it is intricate and pretty, reminiscent of the wonderful East River Pipe at their dreamy best, all slinky guitar and swishing plinky-plonky electronics. Sweet and intelligent like a defence-splitting Philippe Coutinho pass. [8/10]
Kevin Korber: It’s only Matt Berninger’s unmistakable voice that makes this sort of sound like The National mashed up with another band, even if EL VY is technically The National mashed up with Menomena. Otherwise, this is a completely different proposition, one that’s far more playful and pleasant than either of the parent bands involved. While it’s not deep work, it’s a welcome variation from artists who aren’t exactly known for having fun. [6/10]
Steve Horowitz: The younger generation is still blaming The Beatles and their mothers for everything, like hope and living in the moment. Maybe love is all you need, but being kept out of punk clubs and missing new wave music for being too young has inspired angst enough to send thousands of kids to write their own songs. The narrator of this one tries hard to be different as thoughts of suicide and love float through his head. That keeps the song interesting. The black and white video does a good job of capturing the existential dilemma. But that’s it. Nothing else really happens here. [7/10]
Ed Whitelock: Matt Berninger’s voice is an instantly identifiable instrument and something that usually draws me in. Here, though, it just doesn’t seem to connect to Brent Knopf’s electronic pulses and dance-floor beats. Maybe other cuts from this highly anticipated pairing will offer more coalescence. [5/10]