The Cribs straight away took my interest as they were from Wakefield so being a fellow Yorkshireman i decided i was gonna invest my time in the local boys, and boy i was glad that i did, the cribs have made two of the best albums of the 21st Century so far in 'The New Fellas' and 'Mens Needs, Womans Needs, Whatever'
'Ignore The Ignorant' was one of 3 albums i was looking forward to this year alongside The Resistance (Muse) and Humbug (Arctic Monkeys) and i bought it first day of release after hearing the amazing 'Cheat On Me' single. Was it worth the wait?.....Just.
I'll admit im not a huge fan of the Smiths so I was not rejoicing when i heard guitarist Johnny Marr had joined the band as a full time member but i knew of the respect he receives from the indie community and hopefully in time the band will see more mainstream attention/success, so i was prepared to give him a shot and for me, Marr does not reinvent or ruin the Cribs sound, in some songs he adds new depths of melody and guitarwork but in others he is barely noticeable.
There are many great tracks on this album
The first single 'Cheat On Me', We Were Aborted, Hari Kari, Last Years Snow, We Share The Same Skies, The City Of Bugs, Victims Of Mass Production.
Now ironically Johnny Marr' guitar work is more prominent on the above tracks especially Cheat On Me, Last Years Snow and album standout (for me) The City Of Bugs.
However the thing I liked about The Cribs were their uber-exuberant, maniacally shouty, hook laden, 3 minute pop songs (similar in ways to another awesome band Supergrass) but on this album there are only a few to speak of 'We Were Aborted', 'Victim Of Mass Production' and possibly 'Hari Kari'.
Now to me it was a bit of shock, the tempo of most songs is mid paced, the growling shouty vocals have been toned down, even the up tempo tracks dont have that same charm. (maybe they are more subtle and refined), now I dont want to level any blame at the feet of Johnny Marr as this could have been the direction the band had chosen to go in all along and I believe it is still the Jarman brothers that write the songs it must just be a perfectly timed coincidence, you could even say the record has a more mature sound to it (and I dont like using that phrase).
I think 'Ignore... is an album that needs to grow on you as the first time i listened to it i had an overwhelming sense of letdown, in the way that any Cribs song could be a surefire single, but as I listened to it more and more each track revealed a new side to itself i had'nt heard previously.
As I said there are many great tracks, there are some classic fast paced ones- We Were Aborted, Victims Of Mass Production, Hari Kari. There are some melodic ones- Cheat On Me, Last Years Snow, We Share The Same Skies. There are some slower ones-
Save Your Secrets, Stick To Your Guns and the one that sounds a bit out of place- City Of Bugs (this albums Be Safe?)
I cant comment on play.com exclusive track as i did'nt buy the album from here so if you dont already own it then download the studio version from play.com instead however its free and you cant complain about that.
I would give this album 4 stars as the good far outweighs the bad for me it is not album of the year (that honour goes to Muse) but it is certainly worth buying if you're already a Cribs fan.
I think i'll end my review with this.
Sometimes a band will grow stale and they will go away for 2-3 years to find a new direction or to reinvent themselves. I get the feeling The Cribs may have felt like this, and while a change in direction is good, it does'nt always mean its right.