27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Don't be mistaken, it's a brilliant album, 1 Oct. 2003
What ever happened to the 'notoriously difficult' second album that bands usually fell down on? A myth to suit yesterday's bands me thinks. Nowadays the 2nd album brings maturity, progression, and such and such. Coldplay did it with Rush of Blood..., Doves did it with The Last Broadcast, and now I'm very happy to annouce that Elbow have done it too with Cast of Thousands.
Their debut album, Asleep at the Back was definately an album to play late at night when you want to get your emotion on. Powder Blue and Newborn were made to pull on those little heart strings that we all seem to possess deep down. It was an album full of epic, emotion driven songs that we all fell in love with.
Cast of Thousands is more subtle. For those of you who have bought it on the back of Fallen Angel or Asleep at the back (album), played it once, and shelved it to the 'will never play again unless i'm dead bored' part of your CD collection, believe me, you are missing out on a gem.
It is an album that has to be played 7 or 8 times before you can even start to comprehend it's magic. OK, it has its catchy tunes like the 'Fallen Angel' and 'Buttons and Zips' (There is almost a 'The Chicken or the Egg' paradox behind the chorus "Will I ever get this song off my lips, thats what you said"), but after a few more plays, you start to get hooked on songs like 'Fugative Motel' and 'Not a Job', and realise this is probably the best stuff you've heard since OK computer was around.
'Switching Off' is this albums Newborn, the almost naked voice of Guy Garvey has never sounded as good. This guy really means what he's singing, it obvious isn't it? It's coming from his soul. You don't hear that sort of emotion in voices coming out of the kids on the millions of manufactured bands we seemed to be bludgeoned with. But don't worry Mr Garvey, you are making sense to me, and I know exactly what you are trying to say.
Other highlights of the album include the spiritulised-esque 'Ribcage', the devilishly delightful 'I've got your number', with the dirtiest organ you will ever hear. 'Grace Under Pressure' is another Newborn-type epic, with a little help from a certain glastonbury crowd.
This is definately an album worth buying. It's full of soul, magic, raw emotional power. Well down Elbow for making another superb album.
We still believe in love.