March 14, 2011

Elbow - Build a Rocket Boys! (2011)

I'd never heard Elbow before a few days ago. I'm not sure if I'd even heard of them, but they've been playing together since 1990, according to Wikipedia. With Tuesday's release of Build a Rocket Boys!, It's safe to say that this band of Brits is planning on keeping things going a while longer. While I purposely didn't give myself anything from their back catalog to compare it to, Elbow doesn't seem to have developed that lack of luster that often accompanies even the best of bands as it's members move into middle age. The first several tracks are fresh, interesting, and well crafted, and though I find my attention drifting a little after halfway through (they could be creeper tracks that get me later, these are first impressions) there is enough to keep me riveted. "Lippy Kids" is a powerful sentimental track that has an aspect in the tone that reminds me of "Night Swimming" by R.E.M. (#1 make-yourself-cry track!), "With Love" is a slightly dizzying, spot-on-produced ear worm, and "Neat Little Rows" is, along with the others, a great showcase of what lead singer Guy Garvey's pipes are capable of.