I have never really been a fan of Elbow, I loved the track Asleep at the Back when I saw them perform it on TV some years ago, but beyond that they have never really been on my radar. Until now.
This is the most poetic, moving, anthemic album I have ever heard. The opening track alone "Starlings" will teach you things you never knew about music, they show you how grandiosity can also be subtle and moving in ways you never thought possible.
Guy Garvey has one of the best voices I have ever heard laid down, and since getting "The Seldom Seen Kid" I have treated myself to their entire back catalogue.
If you have never heard them before I would be so bold as to say I guarantee you will not be disappointed. This album is a masterpiece in every sense of the word and i'm sure will be featured on every single best of list come the end of the year.
Ok let's set one thing straight; Elbow are not a hard rock or metal band in anyway. Those judging them by their single 'Grounds for Divorce' alone would be unwise; being one of the more heavier tracks on the album. In my personal opinion this is the best album of 2008; possibly described as the OK Computer of this decade. My reason for this comparison is the estounding depth both albums achieve, plus the fact they must be played from start to finish; loud. It is only in this environment that you can fully appreciate the dynamics and musicality of them both.
Elbow's sound is mature and conservative, yet full and brash at the same time. The opener 'Starlings' prove this in a trumpet fanfare announcing their arrival. The heavier tracks 'The Bones of You' and 'Grounds for Divorce' help the album bubble along nicely whilst the gorgeous piano based 'Mirrorball' and soaring 'Weather to Fly' will melt slowly in your ears. 'The Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver' is like nothing to hit the mainstream yet with rumbling percussion and beautiful strings. The centre piece of the album is definitely ' One Day Like This' with its 3 and a half minute closing, anthemic march. Guy Garvey's lyrics are poetic and almost archaic in places which compliment his northern accent and melodic voice. I did get the bonus track so I'm not sure whether it is pot luck or not but it is certainly worth it. Absolutely Superb!
I'm really lost for words,i didn't think elbow could sound this good,don't get me wrong they are an amazing band,but this is leagues ahead!!..I didn't skip one track on this album and just kept repeating track after track!! "On a day like this" just blew me away!!,from start to finish this album is a real joy and easily the best album ive heard this year!! a MUST HAVE simple as that.
Heard a track performed on some film awards session or other (the song was 'grounds for divorce') Thought it was, frankly astounding... rushed, well , went out to buy the album... I suppose they have suffered from a lack of control over their recording or ineptitude? The recorded version was SO tepid disappointing is not enough...
This is an amazing album; the music wraps itself around you as you listen (like a high quality duvet) and the lyrics are so thoughtful that they stir your emotions. Like other reviewers have said, you will find yourself discovering something new on every listen. Anything less than a 5 star rating is an insult to the band and their fans. If you are into contemporary music you should have this album in your CD collection, or on your iPod. Buy it!