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The Seldom Seen Kid (Deluxe Edition)

elbow Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (315 customer reviews)
Price: 16.00
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As they release their sixth studio album, The Take Off and Landing of Everything, it is fair to say that elbow are in a rare position within the music world. Few bands can lay claim to a career that encompasses over twenty years. Even fewer can make that claim without changes to personnel, and, yet, elbow in 2014 are the same as elbow in 1992: Guy Garvey on vocals, Mark Potter on guitar, Pete ... Read more in Amazon's elbow Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (17 Mar 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal
  • ASIN: B0013F2M4S
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (315 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 201,348 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description


There are few things in life quite so liberating as the opening track on an Elbow album--they're like airlocks between the plainness of the outside world and the elaborate melancholic heave-ho that you are likely about to submerge yourself in. Following predecessors "Any Day Now", "Ribcage" and "Station Approach", "Starlings" opens their fourth album The Seldom Seen Kid rising from a bed of tumbling electronic subtlety like a depressed Atari game loading up, adding bare touches of piano, glimpses of ambient guitar, out of body background vocals, an understated pulse and a wisp of strings, before--EXCELSIS!--a fanfare avalanche of horns crashes the gate and elevates things to gasping palatial heights, before Guy Garvey's inimitable gravel tone and wrenchingly poetic reinterpretations of the everyday announce their arrival proper. It's astonishing, by far the most progressive moment on the album and if anything it sets the bar too high. But even when the pace dips, and songs like "Mirrorball" and "Weather to Fly" don't distinguish themselves quite enough, their textural peerlessness remains. This is a beautiful sounding record. Their collaboration with Richard Hawley may be more of a curiosity than a thing of beauty, but the highs, the riffing cross-stitch of "Ground for Divorce", the desolate grandeur of "The Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver" and the enlightened string-laden anthem "On a Day Like This" (like their own Sound of Music--only substitute the Alpine peaks for a Manchester high-rise) number amongst the best of their career. --James Berry

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
82 of 88 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars make room for Elbow 14 Mar 2008
Format:Audio CD
I first heard Elbow on one of those late night car journeys listening to the radio. The track was Any Day Now and I thought it was amazing. Slightly dissonant, almost like a medieval chant and it stuck in my head for days. There have been a further two albums since that debut which are both filled with consistently interesting tracks and increasingly honest lyrics dealing with Guy Garvey's relationships and emotions. Why anyone would bother listening to a band like Coldplay when they could have Elbow instead is beyond me but there we go. The band have said that this may be their last album proper with future work released on ep's and singles so is it a fitting farewell (of sorts)?

The album begins with Starlings; a cacophony of sound which suddenly cuts out to reveal a quiet glockenspiel punctured with loud horns and eventually Guy Garvey's voice sounding as heartfelt as ever. Bones Of You takes its starting point from the power of a song to transport you back in time to a memory - 'And I'm five years ago/And three thousand miles away' but we should realise that Garvey is not a rose tinted spectacles kind of guy. Mirrorball is a great example of what Elbow do well; a gorgeous ballad with piano, drums, soaring strings and Garvey's voice up close and personal, filled with emotion ' When we make the moon our mirror ball/the street's an empty stage;/the city sirens - violins./Everything has changed.' The tempo lifts with first single Grounds For Divorce, a down and dirty, bluesey, western influenced anthem with a kick. And then we have Audience With The Pope, a challenge to religion which with its Russian sounding melody comes on like a Bond theme 'I've an audience with the Pope/And I'm saving the world at eight/But if she says she needs me/Everybody's gonna have to wait'.
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226 of 244 people found the following review helpful
By Mr. D. J. Brindle VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
Rumoured to be Elbow's last new album in the traditional sense of the word (the band have hinted that future releases may be in the form of EP's / singles only) they return here with what can only be described as a beautiful, masterful, heartbreakingly delicate collection of simply brilliant songs.

It's an album on which Guy Garvey, lead singer and lyricist, seeks to address the big issues of life, love and loss and the resulting collection of songs is perhaps Elbow's finest to date.

"Starlings" starts the album off with aplomb, a hushed harmonised intro of vocals, glockenspiel and piano giving way to a huge burst of horns before Guy Garvey begins his vocal. Garvey has the sort of voice that could sing the entire telephone book to you and you'd still find it deep, and meaningful and melancholically beautiful.

"Bones Of You" with it's flamenco influences, details lyrically that moment whereby you're rushing around a town centre when suddenly you catch a few bars of a song you last hear when you were happy, and somewhere else, and it blasts you back to that time. And back to the love you felt then; "And I'm five years ago/and three thousand miles away". Musically it's quite a commercial and accessible song, like a few on the album. And there's a bitter lyrical under taste in the fact that it becomes apparent that the singer of the song has been lying to himself to a greater or lesser extent, all these years. Brilliant stuff.

Mirrorball is a typically stunning and beautiful Elbow ballad; "Dawn gives me a shadow I know to be taller. All down to you. Everything has changed." over acoustic drums and semi-whispered, right in your ear and head vocals. Gorgeous strings too. Stirring and yet romantic.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
In recent months both the huge support/acclaim for this album and the John Sergeant affair are proof that we should never underestimate our enduring ability as human beings to occasionally do the right thing. Elbow are a great band FACT. Never fashionable, no gimmicks, not much fuss but always able to create great music and sticking to their guns despite no immediate breakthrough on the cards. All their albums are streets ahead of the average run of the mill British bands, the likes of Keane and Snow Patrol. Here on "The Seldom Seen Kid" they move into overdrive. Some of the most wondrous songs ever recorded by a British band are contained on this CD and the album stands as a unified whole whether it be the dramatic sweep of "The loneliness of a tower crane driver" (a song that only Elbow could write) oor the grinding blues of "Grounds for divorce" . It is a number of absolute showstopper songs however which will twist your emotions into knots. "Weather to Fly" is jaw dropping in its simplicity, breathtaking in its beauty and had this reviewer weeping as if the day job was to peel one hundred raw onions. Running it a close second is "Mirroball", all power and romance with superb lyrics, not least the verse where Guy Garvey beautifully sings the words -

"We took the town to town last night.
We kissed like we invented it!
And now I know what every step is for:
To lead me to your door".

Then you have the Glastonbury anthem "On days like this", the lovely "The bones of you"" and the aching heartbreak of the very special "Friends of ours" dedicated to the bands great comrade Bryan Glancy which is the ideal closer with its tender refrain of "love yer mate". Anyone who loves music will have been ecstatic and chuffed to bits when they won the Mercury award.
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