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70 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing
Disturbing, but not in a bad way! This is one of my favourite albums of 2001. At times Guy Garvey sings like Peter Gabriel, at others the record has echoes of Bowie or Japan. These are influences, you understand, not copied motifs.
The softness of the music hides an unsettling edge. This isn't merely another album of melancholic northern music, this is an album that...
Published on 6 Nov 2002 by Amazon Customer

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT
An early album which isn't one of their best, but it is pleasing if you like Elbow. The songs are good and the quality is great. They are a brilliant band.
Published on 19 July 2011 by Moonshine.


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Doves-A-Like, 29 Aug 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Asleep in the Back (Audio CD)
Anyone who listened to last years Dove Album and liked it will like this. While it takes a while to grow on you (the industrial sound in particular), there are moment of greatness in every track here. I subtle cord change here, lyrical genious there. Give this album time, and you will fall in love with its charms.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars cyclical beauty, 4 July 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Asleep in the Back (Audio CD)
very ripe, very seductive, track 2-red, mmm, as good as it gets, maybe not, rewind to track 1-any day now, cyclical, mantra like, beautiful devices fluttering around your ear space and reminding you that it's not all re-interpretation and pastiche, there is a minority still in control - that minority is ELBOW the evidence is ASLEEP IN THE BACK. fast forward to track 11-scattered black and whites, ordered chaos, controlled cacophony - this is the future of the industry, if only the industry knew.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mature song-writing in an anthology of 3 minute wonders, 16 Jun 2001
This review is from: Asleep in the Back (Audio CD)
This album will leave you dumbfounded. Elbow have thrown the Mancunian "mad for it" stereotype out of the window in order to produce a wonderfully crafted collection of songs, that caters for even the most discerning of listeners. The record flushes with melodic progressions that enter the subconsciousness like a calm breeze. But it doesn't, in fact, leave you, "Asleep in the back". For the more rock and roll orientated music lover there are frequent glimpses of rhythmical mastery that prohibit the toes from not tapping in time. The first track, Any Day Now, is a fitting and inviting introduction to the album. The euphoric tones of "Red" and the unrivalled emotional content of "Newborn" are highlights in an extremely bright album. Whether Elbow live can go anywhere near to doing justice to what they have achieved in the studio is a different matter, but this is a debut album unrivalled in post-Radiohead manifestastion. So remember the name...Elbow.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In face of a whole new CD concept, 21 May 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Asleep in the Back (Audio CD)
Asleep in the Back appears to be a new way of constructing a CD compilation. The themes begin at the first sound, and only get to an end when you stop hearing it. It's a whole new concept. Elbow tells us a story about what it seams to be their first album recording experience. It's hard to choose among all the tracks. They make part of a whole. Each one is a little piece of the final picture. It only makes true sense when they're all together. Sometimes it reminds me of early genesis and Peter Gabriel geniality. Other times we think we're listening to symphonic rock (more rock than symphony). Some other times, it sounds like Coldplay. In the end it only sounds like Elbow. Imperative.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Indie debut in a long time, 13 May 2001
By 
This review is from: Asleep in the Back (Audio CD)
Already compared to Doves but so much better. Although the songs themseleves are very sad in their lyrics they never get depressing. Guy (lead singer) has an incredible vocal range that can be mournful and beautiful on the track "Powder Blue" to downright dark and moody on "Bitten By The Tailfly". Indeed, the whole sound that the band produces shows up so much talent that you simply have to listen and wonder how it took this lot so long to get recognised. Fantastic stuff!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In my top 10 list of all time, 23 July 2005
By 
Mr. K. M. SYMONS D'SOUZA (berkshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Asleep in the Back (Audio CD)
This album is one of the most exceptional albums of the new millenium. Its completely different to anything ive ever heard. Elbow are an experimental-indie band and their sound is completely fresh and original.
All the tracks are great and are beautifully structured. From the lovely any day now to the sublime scattered balck and whites.
my favourite tracks are coming second, any day now, scattered balck and whites, red, dont mix your drinks. every track is a gem including the 7 minute epic single, newborn.
With this album you get 60+ minutes of sublime music. Listen and enjoy. Although it wont be your favourite on first listen you'll appreciate eventually. Get their second album also. its great.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have Album .... would proudly grace any collection, 25 Sep 2001
By 
This review is from: Asleep in the Back (Audio CD)
This is quite simply one of the best and most underated album of the past 5 years .. From the flowing almost mesmeric first track all the way to the stunning last track - Scattered Black & White, Tracks to watch out for ...Newborn ..Beautiful lyrics and the kind of vocal's that stand out through the current crop of pop rubbish....Bitten by the Tailfly with its soaring uplifting chorus and one of the best breaks of any song ive heard for quite some time ...I also strongly recommend catching them live as they do well and truly take your breath away ....
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classics in a pool of mediocrity, 24 Sep 2002
This review is from: Asleep in the Back (Audio CD)
Depression is a theme that grips most songwriters.
With Elbow, it consumes them.
I am not saying that I'm adverse to tentative, hyper-sensitive prose, but to wallow in one's own misfortunes is decidely monotonous. Having said this, the perversion of Elbow's melancholy is something which is deeply absorbing.
On first listening, 'Asleep in the Back' is a middle of the road concoction of life's problems;- a broken heart, ineptitude etc. However, what one also realises is that such an album provides moments of musical genius. 'Red', with its marching drum-beat and wailing vocal is a great track. But as the album moves on in blotches of inspiration (you'll see what I mean), the track becomes over-shadowed by greater, and then greater works of art. Forget the in-between tracks, and concentrate on tracks like "Powder Blue" and "Asleep in the Back". Songs like these are so intoxicating that you feel like you've been injected with a drug known as 'hyper-reality'. You are no longer fixated by looks, weight etc. but are focused on just one thing; - reflection. Not to say this is a bad thing mind you.
Rolling on through another few sparsely creative numbers, you get to realise the exact superiority of the stand-out songs. 'Newborn' and 'Scattered Black and Whites' are two of the most mesmerising songs I've ever heard - they float out of the realm of pure lyrics and rhythm. The effect of the wine glasses (as instruments) on SB&W is so beautiful that you'll be hurting for days.
In reflection, this is an introspective journey into the hormone-induced depression of one's mind. It sails past mediocrity whilst at the same time creating a paradox in that it is distinctly mediocre as a collection of songs.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BUY THIS ALBUM AND SING THROUGH TEARS OF HAPPINESS!, 26 Mar 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Asleep in the Back (Audio CD)
Guy Garvey is my saviour! I must impress upon you reading that this album is a masterpiece and is rivalled by no other. Asleep in the Back is one of the most important things to me. I rank it above water! I first heard "Red" and instantly fell deeply in love with Elbow and was eager to hear more. I then heard "Powder Blue" and I was almost in tears. But the greatest was yet to come. I was listening to the radio and the most beautiful song came on. "Newborn." I could barely walk. Tears were streaming down my face and i just had to buy all of their material (including their essential and heartfelt new single "Asleep in the Back" and tell everyone about them. They are so good because they get everything right. Those profound lyrics telling real stories, the musical genius (the chords ache with beauty) and Guy Garvey's voice sings like a deeply unloved laugh (and trust me that's a good thing) singing from experience, feeling those years of hurt and sending them delicately to your ears.
This album is so important its like a vital organ, you need it to stay alive. It protects you from the hurt of the world, whilst showing you what a beautiful place the world is.
- Simon "Elbow" Stockley (spread the word Elbow fans!)
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Undoubtably brilliant but......, 31 May 2001
This review is from: Asleep in the Back (Audio CD)
Well I expected very big things from this Bury band's debut. After having bought (and loved) the Any Day Now EP, i was really looking forward to a full length LP. The result is very, very good, no mistake about that. Beautiful haunting lyrics tainted with a hint of small town familiarity swirl around gorgeous melodies, especially on Powder Blue. My only gripe, and a minor one I admit, is that they could have turned up the guitars on a couple more of the songs and made them even more epic. Newborn and Bitten by the Tailfly both manage to increase the volume, building to great climaxes. Granted some of the tracks don't need this treatment, but if you have heard George Lassoes the Moon from the aforementioned Any Day Now EP, you would know how amazing this band is when they start to rock out. If you like this album, get hold of this track somehow, it should be on this record, without a doubt. Then this album would have got my 5 star vote, as it is it's excellent and you should buy it if you like any passionate music.
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