The Cribs
Ignore The Ignorant



by Fugue USER (58 Reviews)
September 25th, 2009 | 14 replies

Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It’s got average written all over it.

After the release of their last album, 2007’s Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever The Cribs shot to the stardom that had previously evaded them. The lure of star name producer Alex Kapranos in addition to the raucous shows promoting the album resulted in a personal best of a #13 in the UK albums chart. As well as appeasing to older fans Men’s Needs... brought the band into the attention of many newer fans, with the more pop-friendly production values of Alex Kapranos the main rationale. Alas with success comes a heightened anticipation for future releases, and there is no bigger hype machine in the world than the British music press. Faced with such expectation a band can choose to do one of two things: they can re-write and re-release the album that garnered them such attention in the first place and hope their mindless fan-base will gobble it up all the same, or they can choose to progress their sound and release an album surpassing their previous work in terms of originality and artistic endeavour. Unfortunately along the way the Jarman brothers have evidently become caught in two minds over their options and although the addition of legendary guitarist Johnny Marr would make it seem as if The Cribs have chosen the latter option, the ex-Smiths guitarist fails to spice up bands sound in the way they would have liked. Ignore The Ignorant shows the Cribs stumbling through their maturation in much the same ilk as an adolescent would. Sure, there are undoubtedly moments of brilliance scattered throughout, but the end product leaves much to be admired and much room for improvement.

Earlier albums presented the band in a blasé lo-fi light, favouring a rougher production similar to that of The Strokes and The Libertines. Men’s Needs... changed this, with the effervescent Alex Kapranos drafted in to give a glitz to the raw talent. The polished sound certainly added a new dimension to the band’s sound and while the album was let down in parts as Ryan’s vocals faded towards the end the overall product was their most complete package to date. However with Ignore The Ignorant the band have reverted to their purist, lo-fi roots. Those who were fans of the stripped-down, raw sound of The New Fella’s will no doubt be pleased, but those hoping for a continuation of the somewhat more polished sound of Men’s Needs... will be sorely disappointed with the regression. The stale guitar riffs and flaccid rhythmic backbone do little to help matters with poor all round performances on Hari Kari and misplaced closer Stick To Yr Guns only adding to the sense of loss. Quite simply, on Ignore The Ignorant The Cribs have misplaced the carefree youthful exuberance shown in abundance throughout Men’s Needs....

Another aspect of Men’s Needs that the band have inexplicably lost is the ability to write ‘album tracks’. There is no doubt that the Jarman’s are particularly adept in the art of writing singles and both lead single Cheat On Me and second single contender We Were Aborted live up to the standards set by Hey Scenesters and Our Bovine Public. Unfortunately it’s a different story for the rest of the album. Neither The New Fella’s nor Men’s Needs... were exempt from having filler, Haunted and Ancient History respectively are two of the worst tracks The Cribs have ever penned. However on both of their previous albums The Cribs managed to keep the filler to a minimum. This trait is less true for [i]Ignore The Ignorant[i], which is really the albums main flaw. Unnecessarily ornate guitar passages from newbie Johnny Marr on Nothing add little to the band’s sound and at times it seems as though his addition has cramped the Jarman’s relaxed dynamic. He’s just as unnecessary on the aforementioned confusion of Hari Kari and though undoubtedly a legend in his own right he seems redundant here. Emasculate Me places too much focus on the twins noticeably variable vocals whereas the eponymous track tries too hard to give off a ‘heavier’ atmosphere and ultimately feels forced.

Despite this though Ignore The Ignorant does have its moments. The infectiously catchy chorus to opener We Were Aborted adds a desperately needed sense of fun to the album, something that lead single Cheat On Me continues. City Of Bugs starts with a brilliant instrumental build-up and sounds and is blemished only by its running time, the six minutes allow the despairingly conservative vocals to become grating. Similarly We Share The Same Skies shows some of the albums best instrumental work; including the one time that Marr’s second guitar is used effectively, and Save Your Secrets is the bands most carefully constructed ballad yet only to once more be thwarted by both Gary and brother Ryan’s lethargic vocal deliveries. The vocals themselves are as infuriatingly inconsistent as everything else, the previous instance and Emasculate Me being two of the worst examples. We Were Aborted shows a change in their fortunes with the best performance on the album, but unfortunately it all goes downhill from there. By now it should be obvious that although plenty of songs illustrate the quality coursing through the veins of the creative outlet that is The Cribs, none of this manifests itself in the form of an entire song. What we get on Ignore The Ignorant is a smattering of talent atop a very average backbone.

Ultimately Ignore The Ignorant sees The Cribs trying to grow up. There are some mature ideas on the record for sure and in terms of ideas song construction they have come a long way from their punky roots. Even so time is needed for this newly changed unit to work as well as a fully oiled model. Johnny Marr has much more to offer than he shows on this evidence and should be adding more to both the song writing and the execution once he has fully integrated into the act. While the faster paced songs early on is a strong start, the album unravels and eventually falls to pieces during the weak middle and end sections. Although as a whole it is weaker than their previous works, Ignore The Ignorant does contain moments that hint towards greatness and it will be interesting to see where they go from here.

Recommended Tracks
Cheat On Me
We Were Aborted
City Of Bugs
Overall 2.5 Average

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user ratings (69)
other reviews of this album
thepopscener (3)
The Cribs show a marked improvement in songcraft with a little help from Uncle Marr....

GiantBoyDetective (4.5)
At first appearances, this seems not to reach the mark but time allows the lyrics and guitar work to...

Twatterberry (3.5)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
September 25th 2009


What? Another mutatedfreek review so quickly, must be christmas...

September 25th 2009


Few things here and there but overall very well done. Never heard of The Cribs and will probably never check them out.

September 25th 2009



jk good review

September 25th 2009


Yeah review is a little long, its a habit I'm getting into, this was meant to be a nice easy review to halt the trend but it ended up just as bulky as my last few.

Matt, you probably wouldn't like them anyway.

Thanks for the compliments both of you.

September 26th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

The better songs have Marr's fingerprints all over them: Cheat On Me, We Share The Same Skies, Save Your Secrets.

As you say, the vocals and the amount of filler are very disappointing.

September 26th 2009


Yupp, the vocals are a big step down from Men's Needs.

Staff Reviewer
September 26th 2009


Solid review Ross... I haven't heard much of them & got a good idea what the album is like from your review. Yeah, paragraphs 1 & 3 could do with a little shortening, but reading the review didn't make it seem too long.

Question though; If they have returned to lo-fi here, why recommend 'Appeal To Reason'? Or are they more punky than I recall?

September 26th 2009


Thanks mate, and I know how shocked you are at me getting it done only a week after my last! Still I'm going to try and keep it up and next time I'll strive keep the length right down because I'm becoming concerned that I can't seem to stop writing when enough has been said.

As for the Appeal To Reason recommendation, dare I say I maybe made a mistake? I have heard quite a lot of Rise Against recenntly and there is definately something in this album that seems similar - to me at least. That said the album isn't really hugely punky, and perhaps I'm getting Appeal To Reason mixed up with another album...

Staff Reviewer
September 26th 2009


"... dare I say I maybe made a mistake?"

That's why I'm here... I am a professional mistakepointerouterer.

September 27th 2009


good review Ross, I do not think this is too long as it was a good read and didn't feel forced or lengthy at all. A Pos from me. And I am waiting for that metal review of yours ;).

October 11th 2009


Album Rating: 4.5

Well written but inaccurate. Listen again and again. I think you rushed it.

May 8th 2010


"Unnecessarily ornate guitar passages from newbie Johnny Marr on Nothing add little to the band’s sound.."

WHAT?! Nothing is probably the best track on the whole damn album. The guitar is fantastic. You've gotta be out of your mind.

I really liked We Were Aborted (the track) until it got to the chorus. It went from being punchy and sort of menacing to run-of-the-mill British indie pop. On some of these songs it's the opposite. It's definitely not a perfect album but I disagree with most of the justifications here for rating it so low.

August 8th 2011


Album Rating: 3.5

It's their best album in my opinion, very underrated.

March 10th 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

The review is written well but I disagree. You can'ts really copmare it to "Mens needs....." because it's not in the least bit simillar. I didn't care for it at first but after at least 5 listens I think it's brilliant.

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