Previously, the glory recordings of Man Overboard were located in their early indie days, with Dahlia, Noise From Upstairs, and Before We Met. Though the LPs the band have since put forth were all very good, they were not quite up to match with the oldies (though there have been several tracks that came close). However, that will all change with the release of Heavy Love, the best collection of songs Man Overboard has written in years. It may start off sounding too familiar (“Now That You’re Home”), but it goes on to take several (successful) chances, while also placing a higher focus on the unpolished angst of their earlier work. “Cliffhanger” is the most unique and exciting, with its speed and intensified back-up vocals, but it doesn’t win cleanly; there are two runner-ups that demand your attention. “Invincible” has a bouncy and defiant chorus to fuel the super hero in you, and the vocals behind “Deal” are often spat like bar rock, giving the track an overall grungy feel. These three go down as your main highlights, but other favorites include “Reality Check”, “Splinter”, “Anything”, and “A Love That I Can’t Have”, all of which are contagiously catchy.
Ultimately, Heavy Love is a blast from start to finish. It beats out Man Overboard’s last three albums put out by Rise, and goes down as one of their best collections period. Without issue, Heavy Love is the kind of record that can be played on repeat for days on end. This one is golden. (Nathaniel Lay)