Elbow - Asleep In The Back
[URL=www.elbow.co.uk]Elbow's Official Site - Listen To Their Songs Here[/URL]
Guy Garvey - Vocals
Pete Turner - Bass
Richard Jupp - Drums
Mark Potter - Guitars
Craig Potter - Keyboards
Elbow are a "new" English band from Manchester. They have released 2 albums, their debut album "Asleep In The Back" and the follow-up record "Cast Of Thousands". While they have not been in the public eye for very long, they did spend quite a bit of time working on their first record. Incredibly, Elbow spent 10 years making "Asleep In The Back".
Elbow have recieved a fair bit of attention in the last couple of years. They have often been compared to bands such as Coldplay. While a comparison to Coldplay is slightly unfair, they have also been compared to the Doves, which is quite a fair comparison. While their songs are often not as uplifting as many Doves tracks, Elbow put a wide range of emotions into their songs. Quite a bit more than the average guitar rock band coming out of England does these days.
Elbow have a range of experimental sounds in their music. While their music is not overtly experimental, these small sounds make nice touches. They are not pretentious in any way, they are simply used to add to the music. In some of the more eerie songs, they have electronic type beeps in the background. In other more pretty songs, they have some nice background effects to add to the music. A noteable point though is that even without all of the effects, if every single song was nothing but vocals and acoustic guitar, they would still stand up fine. Without vocals, the album would still be interesting and worth listening to. However, in the middle of all of the textures and different sounds, you have an extremely emotional lyricist.
The different moods on the album are rather interesting. You have the very pretty piano based songs such as the title track and "Scattered Black and Whites" and you have extremely eerie, trip-hop sounding songs, such as "Little Beast". Then there's everything in between. While the majority of the album is of a sad mood, it's more to do with getting through problems then crying about it and giving up or saying "I need a hug". The majority of the album is slightly prog-rock. In fact, the band once described themselves (entirely seriously) as being "prog rock without the solos".
While many young and new rock bands come and go, claiming to be in it for the long haul, they soon release mediocore follow-up albums that hit bargain bins in a few months and they fade away into nothing. Elbow aren't likely to be going anywhere soon. With more than 10 years of experience and two solid albums under their belts, Elbow are likely to last a bit longer.
This album is no masterpiece. It is nothing jaw dropping. But it is a great and honest album. There are some absolutely beautiful songs on here and some songs that are just plain cool. If you are a fan of Radiohead, Coldplay, Doves or even Muse, don't look past this album. If you want a quick taste of the band itself, check out the gorgeous "Newborn".
- Extremely interesting music arrangements
- Emotionally honest lyrics
- There are new things to discover every time you listen
- Great vocals that manage to be sad without being asking you to feel sorry
- Some boring songs
- Tracks can sometimes drag on a bit
- Could be a bit inaccessible for some listeners
- Production could be a tad better for 10 years of work
Asleep In The Back
Scattered Black and Whites
FINAL RATING: 3.8/5