Review : Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid
DrownedinsoundElbow’s new album, their fourth, is reassuringly boring on initial contact. Reassuring because if Elbow fans know anything, it’s that the band they love make music that rewards revisiting, that slowly unfurls itself over time to reveal sonic and emotional depths inconceivable at the first glimpse. If The Seldom Seen Kid jumped out and stamped itself on the dancefloor or airwaves from the off, you’d know something was amiss.
Because the joy of Elbow is in the details, both of Guy Garvey’s beautiful gutter poetry and his band’s wondrous arrangements. Their songs are completely bereft of platitudes and cliché, both musical and emotional, and this is the triumph that elevates them above the bands so often erroneously labeled as their contemporaries (most namely Coldplay): when an Elbow song repeats itself it is to build tension and release, not because it has nowhere else to go; when Garvey opens his mouth to sing it is to express the details of real human stories, not anonymous lines that anyone could project upon....full text
MusicomhQuiet, steady and without much fuss, Elbow have gradually developed into one of the country's finest bands. From their debut Asleep At The Back to 2005's magnificent Leaders Of The Free World, each Elbow album has shown more depth and emotion than most bands could hope to display in their whole careers.
The Seldom Seen Kid keeps the band on this upward trajectory. This time, keyboard player Craig Potter has taken over production duties and while he's not installed any major changes in the band's sound, there's a freshness about the album that sounds instantly appealing....full text
NmeIf 2005’s ‘Leaders Of The Free World’ was Elbow’s on-tour love letter to Manchester, this is the sound of them returning and re-evaluating their relationship with the city. Mancunians have a curiously tempestuous relationship with their hometown that renders them both partisan and pessimistic and it’s an emotional conflict that Guy Garvey wrestled with during the conception of this fourth Elbow record. It was a tumultuous two years that saw the band marooned without a record contract and dealing with the death of their friend Bryan Glancy, a local singer-songwriter and the ‘seldom seen kid’ of the album’s title....full text
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