June 21, 2023
Man Alive! by King Krule is a masterpiece that demonstrates Archy Marshall’s
development as a musician and lyricist. The album, which was released in February of 2020, is
a reflection of Marshall’s struggles through the years. This project is a clear shift from his past
releases in terms of experimental sound and production.
The album begins with “Cellular,” a track that sets the tone for the rest of the album.
Marshall’s distinct deep and raspy voice is layered over a slow, dreamy melody in the song.
“Cellular” is a great way to start the album because it showcases Marshall’s distinct style while
also hinting at the introspective themes that run throughout the album.
One of the album’s standout tracks is “Stoned Again.” The song demonstrates Marshall’s
ability to blend genres, as it incorporates elements of jazz, punk, and hip hop. The song has a
powerful drumbeat and a distorted guitar riff that creates a sense of pressure, while Marshall’s
lyrics depict a man struggling with his own demons.
The opening lines to “Alone, Omen 3,” “Take a dip, for your love/ take your time/ take a
ticket, take the train/ to the end of the line” set the tone for the rest of the track. Marshall’s lyrics
touch on themes of love, addiction, and the struggle to find meaning in life. The track’s
production is minimalistic, yet it’s incredibly effective in creating a sense of atmosphere and
“Underclass” is another album highlight. Marshall’s voice floats over the song’s slow,
hazy melody, making it comparable to a dream. The lyrics address themes of insecurity and
self-doubt, which run throughout the album. “Underclass” is a beautiful and haunting song that
demonstrates Marshall’s vulnerability as a songwriter.
“Energy Fleets” is a standout track on the album, with a jazzy piano riff backed up by a
driving drumbeat and Marshall’s distinct vocals. The lyrics of the song address anxiety and
mental health concerns, with Marshall singing, “I’m sitting, soakin in the times I bleed/ Watch it
flow right out of me/ Such a funny life I lead/ Such a funny life.” Archy goes onto repeat “Such a
funny life” for about a minute as the emotional production goes on in the background and it
really showcases Marshall’s growth as a songwriter.
The album’s production is one of its most impressive aspects. The record is filled with
atmospheric and dreamy soundscapes, with each track featuring a unique blend of instruments
and electronic elements. The production is never overbearing, and it always complements
Marshall’s voice and lyrics. The album’s sound is cohesive, yet each track stands out on its own,
showcasing Marshall’s versatility as a musician.
The album’s closing track, “Please Complete Thee,” is a slow and melancholic track
that’s a perfect closer for the record. The song features a simple melody with Marshall’s voice at
the forefront. The lyrics touch on themes of love, loss, and problems with the world. Marshall’s
singing really drives the song and completes the perfect ending with him singing “Have you
seen the disasters? We don’t have long/ Till this earth is drowned” The song’s emotional weight
is palpable, and it leaves the listener with a sense of catharsis.
Overall, Man Alive! is a powerful and introspective album that showcases Archy
Marshall’s growth as a musician and songwriter. The album’s production is atmospheric and
dreamy, and Marshall’s voice conveys a sense of vulnerability and raw emotion. The lyrics
tackle themes of insecurity, anxiety, and mental health. And is an overall very emotionally