|Elbow / Take Off And Landing Of Everything, The|
|Add Date:||2014-08-15|| ||Pull Date:||2014-10-17|| |
|Week Ending:||19 Oct||12 Oct||5 Oct||21 Sep||7 Sep||24 Aug|
Alternative rock from one of the biggest, most successful bands in England. You may remember them as one of the bands that played at the 2012 Summer Olympics. This is their sixth album, and most of these guys are in their 40’s.|
So, is this album an example of tedious mainstream drudgery? Not at all. It’s worth checking out just for the top-flight songwriting. The fragmented lyrics are rich in imagery, subtle, often clever, not revealing their intricacies at first glance. The singer plays a central role, anchoring nearly every song. Fortunately, his voice is excellent: a pure English tenor. This is a great album if you care about songwriting.
This album isn’t in a hurry to get where it needs to go, as the singer ambles along on top of relatively simple, clean musical soundscapes. Very chill.
Recommended songs: 2 (watch the FCC), 4, 1, 7
1) “This Blue World” (7:14): A love song, cosmic in scope. Thoughts of the planet, the universe, mice in the rain. Long, extended instrumental sections. Lovely.
2) “Charge” (5:17): (FCC: FUCKERS) It’s rare for a song this slow and deliberate to be so catchy. Funky, angsty stuff, with a kick-ass string interlude. Top-flight stuff. Watch for the FCC though.
3) “Fly Boy Blue / Lunette” (6:24): Horns add texture in the beginning. The transition between songs happens at 3:15, whereupon everything becomes quieter and more atmospheric.
4) “New York Morning” (5:20): A surprisingly sentimental song about New York and how awesome it is. “Oh my god New York can talk / Somewhere in that talk is all the answers.” Check it out if you’re into New York, “the modern Rome where folk are nice to Yoko.” I found it a little cheesy, but all the more fascinating for its cheesiness.
5) “Real Life (Angel)” (6:47): Gentle, rich soundscape. The singer croons to a beloved female figure, promising to protect her. Religious imagery and language.
6) “Honey Sun” (4:57): Humming voices and rich vocal harmonies reminded me of gospel music.
7) “My Sad Captains” (6:00): Lots of horns on this track, which blare out as the singer cries “oh my soul.” Reflections on the nature of time.
8) “Colour Fields” (3:43): The drums tap out a simple rhythm beneath the vocalist. A very sparse number of instruments in play here, but the song still feels rich. A lighter, more playful feel.
9) “The Take Off and Landing Of Everything” (7:11): Horns, percussion, guitar. The song manages to feel very important. A bit too triumphant for me.
10) “The Blanket of Night” (4:24): The chorus feels almost psychedelic: big, quavering chords that almost (but not quite) submerge the vocalist.