De Novo Dahl find themselves in the difficult position of following up their amazing Shout EP with a full-length release. Even if they were able to reproduce the exuberance of Shout (the best musical expression of joy since U2’s "Beautiful Day") over the course of the entire album, I think it may well have killed me (albeit with happiness). What they manage on Move Every Muscle, Make Every Move is to carry over the joy of their EP and to mix it up with different moods and tempos that keep the album interesting and even manage to put the exclamation point into the already exhilarating "Shout."
Fearlessly, De Novo Dahl kicks their latest album off with the very song that sets their own bar so high, offering up the rest of the album to be compared and critiqued beside it. They let things down easy with hooks borrowed from Elvis Costello on "Heartbreaker" and then get a little moody with the agitated pop-punk of "Means to an End." Further in, "Shakedown" dabbles in disco. "Make Some Sense" gets back to pure pop goodness and "Marketplace" masters melodramatic folk-pop. The bottom line is that they did figure out how to keep the album moving and changing and fresh instead of just trying to maintaining the high level of energy in the opening track (as good as it is). And they do it all with an overriding optimism that’s every bit as colorful as their outfits. Prior to listening, I suspected that this would be an impossible task. After listening, I just think De Novo Dahl is the best pop band in the world right now.