Elbow – The Take Off and Landing of Everything Review

The band from Bury have always been an ever-present in the mid background of music for over a decade now with their lyrically strong and non offensive sound that they sometimes stray from. You’d never expect something different from them though and no one does. It has sort of became their trademark now. Perhaps this has become more of a burden now than a trait. I’m not really expecting much from this but you can expect the delivery and lay out of the songs to be of a particular standard but there have already been an array of albums so far this year that have been sublime in this area and have had new, fresh and creative ideas and applications and methods too. Have Elbow came close with their sixth studio album?

’ s much more brash and intimidating than the music and at times quite relatable too, so they certainly have that on their side. ‘New York Morning’ opens in a gentle a slowly rotating fashion with the lead vocal from Garvey easily being the focus. The soft and echoed beat ushers in the acoustic elements to forge the rhythm. The vocals are a great atmospheric tool when they are used collectively and it is the real high point for the song as the repeat, go back and forth and stress harmonies simultaneously. There isn’t much doing in terms of the music. Nothing of much intrigue or originality and no real sense of replicating something with a welcome sense of nostalgia, even if it does the song some good in driving the vocal peak.

The title track generates a natural sounding atmosphere with the gradual riffs being drawn out and the percussion shimmering and glisten alike. The bass lines picks up the rhythm and the song beings to go on to slowly increase in tempo and volume as more sounds arrive and the vocal rises and falls with more of an intensity. While the atmosphere is forged in a painstaking and piece by piece fashion, it  never reaches completion which make you wonder why they went to all the effort to do so as it only leaves you a little detached and disappointed in the end. ‘Charge’ has a gentle and muted organ driving it and slowly nudging it along and this then develops in the typical cascading piano track before neatly fading back into the nudging and soft verses. The strings worked for the dramatic effect too. The snappy, sampled percussion of ‘Colour Fields’ fits in neatly with the echoed and light riff as does Guy’s spacious and accommodating vocal. This simply adds to the wonderful story telling nature of the lyrics. ‘Honey Sun’ operates in s similar fashion and utilises the vocal combinations more readily to good effect. The album is an awkward one. At times too familiar and at others happily taking a different approach with the various combinations entailed. The delivery of the songs is typically spot on and this results in an album that is certainly worth giving a chance.

Elbow – The Take Off and Landing of Everything = 7/10

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This Weeks Music Video

This Weeks Music Video. Offerings from Damon Albarn with Everyday Robots, Savages with Strife and Elbow with Fly Boy Blue / Lunette

Single Review – Elbow – Fly Boy Blue / Lunette

The band from Bury have always been an ever-present in the mid background of music for over a decade now with their lyrically strong and non offensive sound that they sometimes stray from. You’d never expect something different from them though and no one does. It has sort of became their trademark now. They recently released the single ‘Fly Boy Blue / Lunette’ as a first look at what will be their sixth studio album with The Take Off and Landing of Everything which is set for a March release. It churns away in the typical acoustic ballad style but is driven in a different direction by Guy Garvey’s vocal and the copy cat vocal behind him that adds weight to an already heavy vocal. The sharp guitar riff does much to instil a sense of urgency in the song. This is amplified as the song grows and adds to it’s sound with the saxophone and the screeching strings before fading away in a subdued and lost manner into a distant vocal that detaches you before ending in a swooning fashion. A simple yet manipulative technique that proves quite effective in terms of the emotive feel of the song. Lyrically it’s much more brash and intimidating than the music and at times quite relatable too, so they certainly have that on their side. Expect a solid album from them, but nothing that will blow you away

http://youtu.be/dELKUivJo4w

Image from pyxismag.com