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Warnings/Promises by Idlewild
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5/10 MissingPlanet 2nd October 2014

Does anyone set out to make an average record? There's two ways of doing it; either release ten or eleven plain and unmemorable songs or create a group of songs that veer back and forth between great to awful. The first actually sounds easiest, but it's the second that we usually get. So how does it happen? Surely if the dross were written first, you'd notice it and ditch it. As for the other way around, time might run out, you might be pressured for a single or a thousand other reasons.

It's one of the massively variable averages we have here. I still haven't decided which side the opening track and first single 'Love Steals Us From Loneliness' falls on. It's a dirge, but a perversely enjoyable one. It serves as a good divider of the other songs on this record. If it's louder and faster (like I Want A Warning, As If I Hadn't Slept) then it's deep in the quality trough. If it's mellower then it's on the positive side.

The divide also shows itself as brightly as a radioactive clown with the song 'As If I Hadn't Slept'. There are two versions on the record; the energetic, rubbish version comes halfway through; the chilled, highly listenable version is the 'hidden' thirteenth and final track. The treatment of the superior version is a mile high arrow pointing to the band's inability to judge the quality of their own work on this record. As I've been using the skip button liberally from my first listen to this album, my memory of this record said it was a lot better than it is. What it is is painfully average.


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