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Elbow take off landing everything

The Take Off And Landing Of Everything

Elbow - 2014

Let me start this review off by saying that I like Elbow. I’m a fan. I’d see them live if given the chance. I’ll buy their next album as I have the last few. All of that being said, I’m not a BIG fan. There’s something about them that keeps Americans at arm’s length. I won’t speak for all Americans, but for me maybe it’s a general UK pretentiousness. It’s not overwhelming by any means, but it’s there. Elbow makes that type of music that’s a bit hard to stick in a genre. It’s not that they’re so out there, but their albums aren’t quite rock and they aren’t quite pop. They write fairly epic, sprawling songs that take their time building. This happens on “The Take Off..” a bit too much for my taste. Sometimes I’m just itching for them to get the song going. At the center of this band has always been Guy Garvey’s lyrics. I think this is the main thing that holds me back just a bit. He can be brilliant, but often I feel like he’s trying to be brilliant. He has sited Peter Gabriel as a main influence, and I have the same feelings about him as well. I like Genesis and I own the solo self titled albums, Security, Us, and SO, but I don’t embrace them the way I’d like to. To his credit, Guy has taken not just the vocal tone of Gabriel, but also his dramatic ability as a songwriter. The big difference between the two is that Guy isn’t about to be dressing up in trippy costumes and face paint, but who knows what he would have done if Elbow was around in the 70’s! So basically Guy is what keeps me at arm’s length, but also what keeps me coming back. Maybe it’s because he’s VERY much the English-pub-everyman that I don’t identify with. I don’t know. Obviously I haven’t reconciled this with myself. I think I need Elbow therapy. What I’ll say specifically about “Take Off…” is that it’s grand and sprawling, with some quality moments of songwriting and instrumentation, but I still long for something different from Elbow. They hit it more directly on “The Seldom Seen Kid”, and it’s tracks like “Grounds For Divorce” that let me know that they have it in them. I just find myself getting halfway through tracks like “Honey Sun” hoping that it’ll kick in already, but more often than not they don’t go where I’m hoping.

Posted by Tambe



Posted: 08/07/2014

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