Manchester quintet Elbow belong to the generation of bands born at the turn
of the millennium that aims at renovating the stale format of Brit-pop.
Compared with Doves and
Coldplay, Elbow displays a knack for
melodic and romantic prog-rock in the vein of early
The no-nonsense approach by the five diligent musicians (vocalist Guy Garvey,
drummer Richard Jupp, organist Craig Potter, guitarist Mark Potter,
bassist Pete Turner)
was demonstrated on the
EPs Newborn (Uglyman, 2001) and Any Day Now (Uglyman, 2001),
which already manifested the fundamental aesthetic tendencies of the band.
Asleep in the Back (EMI, 2001) recycled
Newborn and Any Day Now (best tracks on the album)
and added a handful of well-crafted doleful melodies, from the
piano elegy Powder Blue to the
intense Bitten by the Tail Fly.
Cast of Thousands (EMI, 2004) is even more emotional than the first
Ribcage, Fallen Angel, Switching Off and especially
Grace under Pressure try different combinations of counterpoint and
melody to reach for the heart. If they mostly succeed, credit must be given
to the humble attitude of the musicians, who never invoke the ghosts of
past virtuosi while avoiding the cliches of contemporary pop.
Leaders of the Free World (V2, 2005) seems to pack all its best shots
in the first half. The gentle Station Approach and the majestic
Picky Bugger follow the blueprint of previous charmers, whereas the
(unusually) sprightly Forget Myself offers a more positive outlook.
The six-minute Leaders of the Free World cements their reputation as
purveyors of "complex" songwriting.
The Seldom Seen Kid (Fiction, 2008) contains several additions to
the canon, and they are all different:
the virulent Grounds for Divorce
(a blues with prominent rhythm and call-and-response chanting,
although interrupted by a poppy chorus and hard-rocking guitar),
the stately The Loneliness Of A Tower Crane Driver
(a quasi-religious hymn over a sinister polyrhythm of guitar, piano and drums),
the magniloquent One Day Like This
(strings and even a choir, and finally some loud drums).
Throughout the album there is a manic emphasis on sound for the sake of
sound, that largely provides the very meaning of atmospheric songs such as
(a delicate melody whispered by the singer in a simple soundscape of soft drumming and sparse electronic tones)
and Weather To Fly.
Unfortunately, too many songs are just faceless and listless.
The Bones of You (that samples Gershwin's Summertime) sounds like
U2 with a plainer voice and a less ringing guitar.
Mirrorball is a calm, whispered litany in an
atmospheric soundscape over a steady beat.
The touching melody of Some Riot evolves out of the singer's monotonous croon.
Sometimes the eccentric arrangements evoke a sober, streamlined Tom Waits, like
in The Fix.
The truth is that Elbow are largely a singer's band.
(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx) |
Se sei interessato a tradurre questo testo, contattami