Idlewild
Interview Music


2.0
poor

Review

by Jared P. STAFF
April 6th, 2019 | 15 replies


Release Date: 04/05/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This luminous emptiness, this feeling of hope -- it's perfect for this restless soul.

As a return album, 2015’s Everything Ever Written was bold and inventive for Scottish Idlewild. Two new band members in keyboardist Luciano Rocci and bassist Andrew Mitchell aided in filling out the band’s polished indie rock, and it sounded like the six-year layoff had sparked creativity in the band as a whole. Roddy Woomble’s aging ramblings hit the wall with a strangely youthful force, and much of it stuck when it easily couldn’t have. Curve balls like “I’m in that photograph, but it was taken before I was actually alive,” and “every little must mean something more than enough,” encouraged you to gaze upon the frontman’s wax-poetic imagery with wonder and intrigue at what the hell he was getting at.

This habit of poetically saying nothing at all shadows Woomble once again in the follow-up to Everything Ever Written. Now four years later, Interview Music is a record as dense and conflicted as the frontman’s gobbledygook would have us believe he is as a writer. Whereas before his depictions were flavorful and bolstered by solid REM-like rock songs from his surrounding team, here highlight pickings for intelligent insights are slim, and Idlewild as a whole sound lost and in the process of aging horribly.

The title track has the whole band pushing full-on ahead amidst garage-rock freak-outs, dissonant, calamitous keyboard lines, and Woomble going on about consumerism and exceeding expectations, or something like that, before slamming the brakes on next cut “All These Words”, a track harkening back to Idlewild’s The Remote Part days, arguably where the band were at their strongest. Unlike the songs of that album, however, the chorus hook on offer is weak, and Woomble doesn’t help with his admonishing a lover in leaving about nothing: “And I don’t know if I can say goodbye to you because sometimes goodbyes are something you can’t choose.”

Idlewild do that a lot on Interview Music, unfortunately: forking themselves while on a sonic path. They try to gloss over that issue with ambient interludes to segue the different-sounding tracks together, such as on the end of the previously mentioned “All These Words”, the end of Artic-Monkeys-sounding and ironically self-referential “Same Things Twice”, the end of garage-rocky and horned-touched “Mount Analogue”, and the end of penultimate “Familiar to Ignore”, which happens to be the strongest song here, with its flavorful switch of pace early on to full throttle and rare instance of Woomble nailing his words with meaning: “No amount of sleep can prepare you for your dreams.” The interludes are cheap in their employment and make the band’s efforts to tie the album together obvious and cringingly trite.

A lovely piano ditty with tone and production a la Gary Jules’ “Mad World” cover finds Woomble talking to himself about existentialism and the placing of others on closer “Lake Martinez”. Save for the keys of Rossi, Woomble is alone here, and fittingly he sings about it: “It’s hard to write down how you’re feeling. Everyone’s always getting up and leaving. I feel fictional, going deeper into daydreams to understand it truthfully.” Perhaps that’s the real problem with how Woomble writes, I suppose, at least on Interview Music -- it’s his own fictional daydream, and we can only guess at its meaning, yet with none in sight. Coming on almost two decades ago, he sang, “There was nothing but determination to come in third,” and now in the present, that’s where Woomble and Idlewild are: last place and slowly fading.



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user ratings (16)
2.9
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Observer
Staff Reviewer
April 6th 2019


7034 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

if youre out there robin, sorry. knew you used to enjoy these guys a bit

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onionbubs
April 6th 2019


11804 Comments


they still exist?

rip this being bad the remote part was fantastic

Digging: Blink-182 - Nine

Observer
Staff Reviewer
April 6th 2019


7034 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

it was. Scottish fiction was pretty epic. Check out their last album though, despite site average. The dude's voice has aged well at least.

onionbubs
April 6th 2019


11804 Comments


ill give it a shot maybe a few songs off this too just to see if it’s really that bad

Deathconscious
April 6th 2019


22228 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The last two were a mixture of really good songs and really boring ones. Idk if ill be checking this.

Digging: Pyramidal - Pyramidal

Pheromone
April 7th 2019


7256 Comments


Remote Part is a great album

Digging: Chore - Another Plebeian

robin
Emeritus
April 7th 2019


4582 Comments


come on jared don't drag the poor guys

Observer
Staff Reviewer
April 7th 2019


7034 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

there you are. Hope you're well friend, i miss our contrib days

Tokyochuchu
April 8th 2019


95 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I entirely disagree with your opinion. I think this is a really good effort from the band. You can feel the band's passion and sense of artistic liberation in every song. Idlewild are finally free of playing what they're expected to play and are now playing what they want to play.

Beauers
April 9th 2019


393 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I feel whoever rated this 1 is being wholly unfair. This is nowhere near their best but nowhere near a 1.

Pangea
April 9th 2019


3107 Comments


I like the album cover

Digging: Lana Del Rey - Norman Fucking Rockwell

fatriff
April 10th 2019


1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I completely disagree with the review..



"Artic-Monkeys-sounding and ironically self-referential “Same Things Twice”



I don't hear it at all, Artic Monkeys? Really?? I've been an Idlewild fan since 1998. It sounds like Idlewild 20 years ago. It sounds like it could be a sibling to "Little Discourage".



Familiar to Ignore the strongest song on the album? Couldn't disagree more. Doesn't even make my top 5 on the album.



And as for the repeated references to garage rock. I don't hear it, what I hear sounds like Art Rock, Sonic Youth style. It even sounds like it could easily be Lee Ranaldo singing the last verse of Interview Music. Let's get this right people. Garage Rock examples include The Kinks - All Day And All Of The Night or Iggy & The Stooges - I Wanna Be Your Dog or The Doors - Break On Through.



And as for Mount Analogue also being branded garage-rock.. Nope, it's more Post-punk/revival.

Deathconscious
April 10th 2019


22228 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

well im glad i decided against my original decision to not check this out. this is sounding better than the last two so far.

9Hammer
April 11th 2019


222 Comments


Quite the mixed ratings on this one. I think I'll give this a go soon.

Deathconscious
April 22nd 2019


22228 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

well that wore off quickly.



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