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Album Review: The Wombats - 'Fix Yourself, Not the World'

Updated: May 4, 2023

Welcome to 2022. Before I start the true review, I have two points I want to make. First: This is a great name for an album. It works as a general idea for the songs you are about to hear, but it is also great advice. After the last few years, people need to just work on fixing themselves and not the entire world. Although some people may view that phrase negatively, the world can only get better when the individuals are better, healthy, wise, and strong. Second: Like the new The Weeknd album, this is another one of those I have to remember for My Favorite Albums of 2022. It’s a trend. For the last couple of years, some of my favorite music was released in January. Much needed, but by the end of the year, I feel like it does not get the credit it deserves.

All of that being said, I have listened to The Wombat’s Fix Yourself, Not the World many times now. It starts on a high note with “Flip Me Upside Down.” Catchy and undoubtably going to have some playtime on JenY 107.3 Cleveland’s Modern Alternative, it perfectly prepares the listener to what they are about to hear. And mentally jumping ahead in my article, I think, this is going to be my favorite song on the album. However, then “This Car Drives All By Itself” comes on and the thought crosses my mind again. And on and on. Although I have to pause in “If You Ever Leave, I’m Coming With You” when Matthew Murphy (Wait. Another Murphy? Are they all related in some weird way?) sings “Get out of bed/Stop listening to Radiohead.” While I one hundred percent understand the sentiment, it still makes me flinch.

Throughout the album, I try to figure out what other bands or songs or eras or styles it brings to mind. Yet while The Wombats sound is very familiar, I cannot lock down anything specific, and as I reflect on this, I can only say, “Fix Yourself, Not the World makes me focus on it.” I get lost in each song as it plays. “Ready For The High.” Then I try to find reasons to not like “Method To The Madness”—it’s to slow, especially after the pace of the first four songs—but that is all I can come up with and that does not have legs to stand on. I love the lyrics, “Fuck my sadness/And fuck your role play/No construction, I’ll build it my own way/No subscribing or reviews/Fuck our options/and fuck the life plan/no more worry, I killed it with both hands/Just give me something, light the fuse,” and the build as it begins to repeat the bridge again. On the other side, the slowness I bullied at the beginning is gone. And I am again thinking, this is going to be my favorite song on the album.

There has twelve songs; I’m just through the first five. “People Don’t Change People, Time Does,” takes me back to another poppy, catchy radio-worthy song, and I like it. A lot. “Everything I Love Is Going To Die,” keeps that trend going and actually sounds like a continuation of the prior song.

Maybe it is Dan Haggis on percussion. He keeps the pace I like. But then I listen to the lyrics and Tord Øverland Knudsen on the bass and guitar. And then “Wildfire,” a different sound again. I like it. “Don’t Poke The Bear.” I need reprieve. Maybe a little humor. Wait. What song is this? “Worry.” Ok. There we go.

“Fix Yourself, Then The World.” Maybe there’s a little The Flaming Lips in it.

Final Thoughts: I gave other reviewers the opportunity to choose this one before I grabbed it. However, I was the lucky one. And while I know my wife will get The Weeknd’s new album on vinyl, I want Fix Yourself, Not The World to be my first record of the year. It is refreshingly positive and hopeful, and it could not have come at a better time.

Favorite Songs: “Ready For The High,” “Method To The Madness,” and “Wildfire”

Rating - 5/5 because I loved this album and I hope it becomes a major hit for the band

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