Years & Years – Night Call

Olly Alexander's first solo release as Years & Years, Night Call too often leans into pop music clichés and feels disappointingly dated

Album Review by Nadia Younes | 18 Jan 2022
  • Years & Years – Night Call
Album title: Night Call
Artist: Years & Years
Label: Polydor
Release date: 21 Jan

When it was announced in March last year that Years & Years would be continuing as a solo project, something about the band’s statement felt a bit off. Describing the upcoming album as “an Olly endeavour”, it seemed that the former trio – made up of Olly Alexander, Mikey Goldsworthy and Emre Türkmen – had different visions for the release. The resulting release, Night Call, sounds disappointingly dated.

Where the band’s previous records were packed with euphoric, club-ready anthems, the tracks on Night Call too often lean into pop music clichés. Lead single Starstruck is probably the album’s strongest moment, but even it sounds like it might have originally been written for another popstar, ironically, also called Olly. 

Sweet Talker ticks all the usual chart hit boxes yet still falls flat; Immaculate sounds like a Pitbull B-side that almost didn’t even make the cut at all, while Strange and Unusual slightly breaks the mould but fails to reach the climax we’re longing for. Unfortunately, Olly Alexander’s first solo outing as Years & Years doesn’t quite hit the mark, but even though they may be few and far between, there are still some glimmers of potential on Night Call.

Listen to: Starstruck, Crave