Another Elbow album, their 6th. The Take Off And Landing Of Everything follows the platinum album Build A Rocket Boys and is likely to continue their ascent into superstardom. Jimi Goodwin from Doves and Manchester’s Halle Orchestra make guest appearances
Available on double 180g vinyl LP, digipak CD and standard CD.
2 reviews. Add your own review.
5/10 Andrew Revis Customer review, 13th March 2015
There's something comforting about Elbow, homespun and unassuming, downbeat and pessimistic, shuffling and soothing. Here with their sixth album, following the career-first misstep of dreary last record Build A Rocket Boys!, Elbow have somehow come to be bracketed in with that majorly uncool crowd of Coldplay, Snow Patrol, Travis, Keane and all their modern rah-wave conserva-rock descendants. And, well, they've really only got themselves to blame.
With four albums behind them, immaculate as they were, Elbow apparently became uninterested in musical progression of any kind. Once surely considered some of the finest musical craftsmen around, Elbow became a soundtrack to the school run, Sunday night television dramas, trips to the shopping mall, a thousand wedding dances, every sporting event ever staged. I blame "One Day Like This". That bloody song.
And so, following that uninspired fifth, the band members tried something new, going their separate ways to work on song ideas individually before reconvening in the studio reinvigorated and revitalised, or something. And in a sense it worked: this sounds remarkably cohesive, organic even; a fully-formed, complete body of work. A really dull complete body of work.
A heartbroken Guy Garvey, Bury's own Marvin Gaye, having split with his long-term girlfriend, would have those bitter creative juices burning through his veins, would he not? (Album four, The Seldom Seen Kid, was his falling in love album, in large part anyway.) But this is not a break-up album to rank alongside For Emma, Forever Ago, Sea Change, Blood On The Tracks or The Midnight Organ Fight. Good lord, no. They've given us the heartbreak tracks before, of course - "I've Got Your Number", "Ribcage", "My Very Best", for instance - but here there's nothing close to those in terms of power or punch. On opening track "This Blue World" Garvey sings, 'While three chambers of my heart beat true and strong with love for another, the fourth is yours forever.' With lyrics like these they really do themselves no favours. So easily dismissed as lightweight indie pseuds, Elbow seem almost to revel in the accusation. 'You have the time-worn shimmer of tarantella on a Tuscan plain.' Oh do shut up.
They have become a frustrating band, not only because their songwriting chops are slowly evaporating, but also because in spite of this they still have moments of great grace and clarity. Indeed these lucid moments are present here, and indeed they are fleeting. Lead single "Fly Boy Blue/Lunette" is sparky and taut, the Lunette half especially hypnotic. And "Real Life (Angel)" has a wondrous bridge section - seriously good. So with this hope, who are we to reject further Elbow output? You (and so many others) may say the world does not need another Elbow album, but they will always have something more dexterous and intriguing within them. This is as least an improvement on Build A Rocket Boys!. Coldplay and Travis had some great songs too, by the way. Just saying.
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