At times, 'Us' is a highly emotive record. A soundtrack to ordinary lives with their little dramas and little victories. The frankly fantastic 'Am I Wrong', with its killer hook and glory chorus is a martial anthem for all library card holders and Horlicks drinkers ("Trying to fight again/I'm getting it right again". If he were to look round, he would see us in his corner).
Clocking in at around an hour, things do merge towards the middle. Disappointing, because at times 'Us' truly takes flight. 'Asylum' and 'Don't Take Your Love Away From Me', for example, are songs so immediate that their complex, meticulously and seamlessly crafted structures remain unnoticed. It all seems so very simple. And when Macintyre sings on the latter, "you helped me to notice the world outside of me", even the hardest core garage rocker/hedonist/pseudo-nihilist will find himself getting a little lachrymose.
'Us', songs about love, to fall in love with.