“What do you think about the rocket I built?” asks Declan McKenna in opener ‘You Better Believe!!!’, both a slick nod back to the singer’s 2017 debut ‘What Do You Think About The Car?’ and an immediate hint as to where its follow-up is aiming: skywards. And in similar ways to Sundara Karma’s second full-length ‘Ulfilas’ Alphabet’ (‘The Key To Life On Earth’ and ‘Daniel, You’re Still A Child’ would easily slide in on that one) and Harry Styles’ entire solo canon (‘Emily’ very much in particular), Declan’s musical palette second time around comes full of glitter and flares, taking all it can from the decades taste forgot. The opener makes like The Kinks’ Ray Davies fronting T.Rex (via a smidgen of Arcade Fire). ‘Be An Astronaut’ has the kind of massive ‘80s rock solo you’d expect to find in the forthcoming Bill and Ted movie. ‘Twice Your Size’ makes like ‘50s producer legend Joe Meek with all manner of strange noises accompanying surf-rock guitar. And still, Dec finds enough earthly wisdom to nod to Quavers, after-school meetings and even the heinous Mrs Thatcher. Star-spangled and confident AF he may be second time around, the Declan of yore isn’t quite lost in a sea of sequins. ‘Zeros’ is a lot of fun.
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Pulling influence from his ‘70s heroes, space, the internet and beyond, Declan McKenna’s second album ‘Zeros’ finds him all grown up and ready do whatever the fuck he wants.