REVIEW: Elbow – Giants of all sizes

Twenty seconds into the opening track of their umpteenth album, I’m immediately regretting putting my hand up to review this. It’ll take an effort not invested since I lost a few hours of my life listening to fucking Amanda fucking Palmer earlier this year. Occupational hazard.

It wasn’t always this way. I had a lot of love for Elbow and beardy man-mountain Guy Garvey. Leaders of the Free World, Cast of Thousands and Asleep In The Back are beyond stunning records, the sublime Newborn probably earning a slot in my top 100 songs of all time.

But then, throw those curtains wide, they disappeared up their own behind.

That funeral-friendly One Day Like This closed the door drunk, sweaty Garvey who could conduct a Glastonbury crowd with his little finger, and opened a copy and paste, I-bet-your-uncle-bought-the-vinyl catalogue of arms aloft vanilla singalongs. Bleurgh.

White Heat, White Noise isn’t bad and for a split second I had saw a mid-record light at the end of the tunnel, but straight into Doldrums (oh the irony) and My Trouble and we are back to square shit. On Deronda Road is a synth-heavy mistake and part way through album closer Weightless, I can taste the sweet nectar of the pint editor Fran is buying me for doing this. I momentarily thought this song wasnt bad, but I’m probably being swayed by the fact it is the last song.

When you spend most of an album reminiscing about the first three records the band made, there isn’t much left to say. I’m off to cleanse myself with some Mogwai.

 

Words by Lisa Whiteman.

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