Showing posts with label elbow. Show all posts
Showing posts with label elbow. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

video review: 'little fictions' by elbow

Well, it took me entirely too long to get to this, but I'm happy I did. But next up... hmm, it's going to be interesting, I can't imagine the fallout will be fun. Enjoy!

album review: 'little fictions' by elbow

So one thing I've stressed a number of times is that while I'm generally fond of Radiohead and while I certainly respect them, I would never consider myself a huge fan. And yet what I find amusing is that there are a fair few bands where you can trace obvious influences to Radiohead of which I'd say I'm a much bigger fan. Muse is one of those bands, Porcupine Tree is another - although there's always been debate how much Steven Wilson pulled from Radiohead, but that's a far more contentious argument - and another is the art rock group Elbow. In fact, given how lush their debut album in 2001 Asleep In The Back was - and if this review convinces you to do anything, go listen to Asleep In The Back, it's incredible - you could easily imagine Elbow as the intersection of a more organic Radiohead and a Porcupine Tree that was aiming to be a tad less progressive and more accessible.

But over the next decade Elbow quickly split from any easy comparison to those groups. Their sound got more raucous, heavy, and diverse on their second record, and after an unfortunate lull on Leaders Of The Free World in 2005, the group regained some experimental pomp and groove with The Seldom Seen Kid in 2008. Unfortunately, with the critical acclaim that came to that album came commercial success, and while there are some acts that have successfully leveraged that for greater artistic heights, Elbow weren't quite one of them. The group had realized one of their greatest strengths came in the unique vocal tones and intricate lyricism of Guy Garvey - the Peter Gabriel comparisons are blatant and a good way - but he also had a bad habit of sliding towards sentiment, and when the underwhelming nostalgic tones didn't quite coalesce on Build A Rocket Boys! in 2011 and the stiffer pomposity of 2014's The Take Off And Landing Of Everything didn't quite satisfy, I was beginning to wonder why I wasn't just listening to The National, who at least could be counted on to carry their melancholic existential crises with more groove and swell. What I think was the larger problem is that Elbow had fallen into a comfortable sound, and if they weren't recapturing the atmosphere of their debut, they were at their best breaking out of it. Now I didn't expect either on their newest project Little Fictions, but hey, I've been surprised before - was I here?