ELBOW

The Seldom Seen Kid (Universal)


Rating: NNNN


As one of those who steadfastly avoided three albums’ worth of manly epic rock (file next to Coldplay and labelmates Snow Patrol), I was filled with about as much excitement as that dreary name at the prospect of reviewing Elbow’s fourth offering.

All subtle harmonies and delicate drums, woozy album opener Starlings operates with such quiet intensity (in part down to the Turn Me Up™ dynamics) that it’ll suck in the most disinterested listener. The combo of ethereal prog rock and lead singer Guy Garvey’s hushed, careworn words couldn’t be finer than on mournful, horn-laden Weather To Fly, while sing-along stadium-ready cliché One Day Like This is the only discernible reminder of why I avoided them in the first place.

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