In an age where fame and success come and go like a tweet, Elbow is an anachronism. Having only won the Mercury Prize in 2008 with The Seldom Seen Kid, this slow-blooming band’s 5th is not them putting polished pennies on the table to size-up, arena-pounding style (been there, done that), but more of frontman Guy Garvey retreating into his old neighbourhood to contemplate age. And what emerges are beatific songs about youth and manhood from Guy, who has the face of a bearded uncle who looks more at ease selling you mash, peas and gravy than songs about aspects of love.
Text Christopher Ujine Ong
Bolstered by the HallÃ© Youth Choir and orchestral instrumentation, Guy’s roguish sentimentalities are given gravitas; from ‘The Birds’ to ‘Lippy Kids’ and even the mawkish ‘Dear Friends’ and the de rigueur stadium moment, ‘Open Arms’, you can feel Guy not just singing but telling you a life story, which you can either relate to, learn from or just plain enjoy.
LISTEN TO: ‘Open Arms’
IF YOU LIKE THIS YOU’LL DIG: Doves, British Sea Power, Gruff Rhys
Elbow your way through to www.myspace.com/elbowmusic.