Saturday, December 10, 2011

STN Albums Of The Year no.22: Elbow - Build A Rocket Boys!

Once you're arena size, which way to go? Elbow's uncommon answer to becoming a populist success to go alongside their critical love was to dial the commerciality back. There's only one rousing chorus a la One Day Like This, a lot of working back through their late Talk Talk and Peter Gabriel influences and emotive lyrics that instead of taking the usual broad all-encompassing view zero in on little street stories, Guy Garvey's theme being nostalgia for personal development in youth, the forming of affairs of the heart and quiet joy of that which is socially achieved. Melodies and static while lovingly textured keyboard patterns seem to drift in a kind of rationalist spirituality until splitting wide open to let the sunshine through. Even at this size and reach Elbow could never be Snow Patrol, as that would require cynicism and radio straightforwardness.


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