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96 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good things come to those who wait...
Although I downloaded this from Amazon on the day of release, I was determined to bide my time in terms of posting a review, as I believe good music takes its own time to seep into your consciousness and reveal its true identity. One week on, I can tell you that The Take Off And Landing Of Everything has arms. They slowly but surely wrap themselves around you, caressing...
Published 4 months ago by Hampton Caught

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Its an easy listen with some wine and the lights low.
Published 15 days ago by gaz


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96 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good things come to those who wait..., 14 Mar 2014
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Although I downloaded this from Amazon on the day of release, I was determined to bide my time in terms of posting a review, as I believe good music takes its own time to seep into your consciousness and reveal its true identity. One week on, I can tell you that The Take Off And Landing Of Everything has arms. They slowly but surely wrap themselves around you, caressing at first but becoming more and more of an embrace until you are enveloped in a thing of real beauty and warmth. I absolutely love the album this week, and I fully expect to love it even more next.

As an Elbow fan of some years (I bought Cast Of Thousands on its release), I have marvelled at the consistency and fortitude of the band, who have been together in the same form for over twenty years. Their well-deserved breakthrough came with The Seldom Seen Kid, Mercury Prize winner and sublime album of huge depth and artistic merit. I would place it in my top five albums of all time, but was less enchanted with Build A Rocket Boys! (never forget the exclamation mark!). 'One Day Like This' opened huge doors for Elbow, becoming a festival favourite, played to death on TV documentaries and sports programmes and I felt at times with Build A Rocket Boys! that the band were trying just a bit too hard to find another replacement anthem, rather than following their own creative path. Despite wonderful tracks such as The Birds, Lippy Kids, The Night Will Always Win and Jesus Is A Rochdale Girl, the album lacked consistency for me and I worried that Elbow had been caught up on the conveyor belt of commercial success like so many bands before them.

The Take Off And Landing Of Everything has totally removed any fears I may have had and at times even sounds like a return to some of the electronic, rhythmic patterns found on Asleep In The Back, albeit with a maturity and confidence that only time can bring. The album's opener 'This Blue World' may come as a surprise to many Elbow fans who have come to expect a powerful, driving opener (Any Day Now, Station Approach, Starlings, The Birds). This Blue World is much more restrained, but grows on you with each listen and the chorus has a nice hook that you'll find yourself humming all day. Apart from anything else, it's impossible not to love a song that contains the line 'When all the world is sucking on its sleeve'.

Charge is more in keeping with a traditional Elbow album opener, with a great melody laden over bass, drums and organ while Guy Garvey holds it all together with the usual powerful vocal - "I am the diehard with an empty dancecard propping up a young bar, I'm pouring oil in double time upon the troubled rising tide inside of me". The strings of the Hallé Orchestra that come in halfway through the track are totally unexpected and take the track to a new level. Oh, and don't forget to try the beer, either.

Fly Boy Blue / Lunette is two songs in one. Fly Boy Blue has Guy's muted vocals over Pete Turner's bass and interludes of guitar and horns "Someone's dancing on the box, a former MP and no one's watching". The track slows down and is then picked up with a rhythmic bass line that takes us into Lunette, a beautiful song that could only have come from Elbow, that tells of the vices of life - smoking and drinking and the effects they can have on a man in the autumn of his life. Towards the end of the song, Guy focuses briefly on the less harmful things that really matter in life "But there isn't words yet for the comfort I get, from the gentle lunette at the top, of the nape, of the neck, that I wake to". It's so personal and intimate that you almost feel like a guilty voyeur listening to it, but it's beautiful, absolutely beautiful and one of the album's highlights.

New York Morning is the first single from the album and is easily the most commercial sounding song in the collection. It's by no means my favourite track, but as with all Elbow songs, there is always much to commend, not least the lyrics "And oh my giddy aunt New York can talk, it's the modern Rome and folk are nice to Yoko". Real Life (Angel) is another slow burner, but reveals itself with each listen and Honey Sun could have been lifted straight off Asleep In The Back, with Guy very close to the microphone "I know a place where angels lace the lemonade, and I cannot stay where all the broken plans were made".

My Sad Captains is yet another song that may pass you by the first couple of times you listen to it, but is undoubtedly one of the album's real highlights. A beautiful melody and Guy's haunting vocal backed by soaring trumpets "Another sunrise with my sad captains, with who I choose to lose my mind, and if it's so we only pass this way but once, what a perfect waste of time". Colour Fields has a lovely 'spacy' feel to it, with Mark Potter's jangly guitar picking out around Guy's subdued vocal "Bright girl, dead town, open mouths for miles around, I still see you keeping those dough boys guessing".

The album's title track has a slight feel of psychedelica about it and reminds me slightly of Radiohead's Let Down from OK Computer. Guy's vocal, above driving guitar, is not so much to the fore as on other tracks and the song culminates in a multi-layered chorus "In a prayer to the take off and landing of everything good". The album finishes with The Blanket Of Night, a slow-moving number with another beautiful melody as Guy laments "The danger, that life should lead us here, my angel, could I have steered us clear".

So there we have it. The latest album from one of the most creative, consistent bands around. No anthems, just a collection of beautiful, melancholy songs that reveal new dimensions each time you listen. That the album is more laid-back than its predecessors, may well be down to the fact that Guy Garvey's 10-year relationship with his partner ended during the making of it. Guy puts his heart and soul into every song he writes and you can feel the pain and despair in some of the lyrics here. But that's what creativity is really about - putting down life experiences using pen, paintbrush, or in this case, music, to reveal your inner thoughts to the world. As a consequence, there are moments of real beauty here and I'd suggest that anyone listening to the album does so with the lyric sheet (provided with the CD) in front of them, which will add another dimension to the experience.

Special mention should also go to Craig Potter, who produced and mixed the album at Blueprint Studios, in Salford. The production is absolutely spot on. Never overly-polished, but every instrument is clearly audible and I honestly don't believe that Guy's wonderful voice has ever sounded better on any recording. The voice is exactly where it should be - upfront where it can weave and soar above the instrumentation, but with the slight rasp and gravel-like quality that keeps it real.

In truth, I would have given this four and a half stars if I had the option, as there are a couple of tracks that meander very slightly for me, but I just don't have it in me to give it four. On the face of it, it's just so much better than much of the music that's churned out these days and is yet another fine, thoughtful, polished piece of work from one of the best bands around. They haven't sold out, they're still very much here, and they're still making outstanding music that will stand the test of time. Wonderful.
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49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Album Number Six, 10 Mar 2014
By 
A. Marczak "mazzarak" (Mordor) - See all my reviews
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Like all 5 Elbow studio albums before, The Take Off And Landing Of Everything requires full concentration. It isn't an album that will have your feet tapping at the first listen, but it is a piece of musical art that gets better every time you hear it.

Each track is a perfectly crafted piece of music, with distinctive piano, percussion and bass, and Guy Garvey's dulcet tones painting pictures with words over the top. Who else can use lyrics like "When all the world is sucking on its sleeve" and "It's the modern Rome, and folk are nice to Yoko"?

On second listening, the layers begin to make more sense, and although you might feel disappointed that there's no anthemic "One Day Like This", or even "Open Arms", you start finding yourself humming along here and there. Then hours later you realise you've listened to nothing else all day, and you're singing "Oh my giddy aunt, New York can talk".

Here is a band that ignores the clamour for "hits" and just makes great albums. Enjoy!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely...just lovely, 15 Mar 2014
In amongst all the talk of this album being cohesive, consistent and other repeatable C-words, its key strength is being missed: melody. I don't mean this in a pop-song sensibility way or even in the way that it's particularly hummable, but rather in the fact that, where Build a Rocket (in particular) lacked melody to the extent that the vocal line and key piano/ guitar line actually followed one another like 7 year-olds having a kickabout for much of the album, this collection is more finished and polished. Garvey's voice is also improving; at times he sounds like a Northern Mark Hollis (Talk Talk), a compliment that I suspect he'd be delighted with.
At the centre of all this loveliness is 'My Sad Captains', a song that moved me to tears on its first listen. It wasn't the sentimental and beautiful lyrics. It wasn't the brass band, as wondrous as it is. It wasn't the familiar, yearning chord progression (Elbow are nowhere near obtuse enough musically - thank the stars - to be considered a proper prog act). It was the song as a unit, how all the pieces are carefully woven together.
A beautiful, considered and intelligent album.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whole, 10 Mar 2014
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It's rare these days that I listen to a CD of songs and am so moved by it on first listen. This recording just hit the spot and has been on repeat in my office, in the car and at home. To me, this is a much more immediate record than their last one, with no songs as filler. It simply feels like a whole. Beautiful production values. Highlights for me? The title track, Colour Fields and Charge. But then, I like them all.....
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Treasure them, 10 Mar 2014
By 
Big Twink (Swansea, Wales) - See all my reviews
Loved this album from the first listen. There's not a bad track on here, and for me it's second only to the mighty 'Leaders of the Free World' in the Elbow canon. It's a more consistent album than 'Build a Rocket Boys' and a more coherent album than 'Seldom Seen Kid'; the flow of the album in its entirety is a thing of joy - there's no flab, just ten perfect tracks making up a very satisfying whole.
You can hear musical passages that could come from any of Elbow's previous albums, and I really feel they have not only consolidated their position as British musical national treasures but have made their best album in nearly ten years. In particular, I love the return to the prog and post-rock touches that were often missing from the previous two albums. 'The Blanket of Night' is also the best album closer of their career.
Somehow, I knew this one was going to chime with me when I heard the strings appear 3 minutes into 'Charge'. The arrangement and melodic sweep of the track at this point cries out, 'we're here, and we are still the lads to beat'. It's good to have them back.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great album, 23 May 2014
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Elbow show once again their genius in song writing,New york morning,my sad captains,are up there with the best. Listening to this album made me book to see them live,which was a brilliant night.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Elbow, 25 April 2014
By 
P. J. Bullough "70's child." (Shrewsbury, England) - See all my reviews
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Wow! If you're a long-standing Elbow fan you've probably bought this already and will be enjoying its multiple felicities. If you're new to the band probably best to start with 'Leaders of the Free World' or 'The Seldom Seen Kid'. This new album, however, is possibly their best ever overall, as 'Q' noticed in their review. Here are a few thoughts on the album: the opening song is enchanting, perfectly paced. They are certainly not in a hurry, and Guy's measured singing draws us into a calm, peaceful, slightly 'Christmassy' place. It's a lovely place to be. Next song still slow, but the tone changes. Guy becomes a bit edgier and touches on one of his favourite themes, the ups and downs of heavy drinking. This is another immersive song, with great use of a string section to build up the effect. Now the tempo picks up with song three, a mesmerising effort with some hypnotic vocals, leading into another song from the heart, also about drinking and smoking and being in love. Don't worry, Guy isn't turning into Phil Collins, although he sings with a similar sincerity when he feels like it, a trait which is rapidly turning him into a national treasure. As a lyricist his range is much wider than Phil's- I won't pursue the comparison. Next up the 'New York' song, instantly accessible winner. Now we hit the heart of the matter with 'Real Life Angel', one of Elbow's greatest ever songs. The first time I heard it I was in the car driving to work, and the emotional impact was so intense that I nearly had to pull over. I've now worked it out on the guitar and I played it at my local last week; it went down well! It's difficult to describe but it's another song that goes deep...man...The cumulative effect of this opening sequence of five songs is pretty overwhelming, and I always stop the cd after 'Real Life Angel' to have a rest. It's a cd of two distinct 'sides'. I'm still absorbed in the brilliance of this opening salvo, and haven't listened so much to the second half, so I might do an update later on. Getting to know this album takes time and in my case is an ongoing 'work in progress', but one which is worth the effort. It's great that they've made such a superb album after the less-than-great 'Build a rocket boys'. Get listening!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime, 12 April 2014
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M. Howell "Mike" (West Sussex) - See all my reviews
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What a beautiful album. Always "quite liked" Elbow but to me this is something very, very special.

One word of warning - the vinyl is pressed at 45 RPM and tells you in the tiniest of print!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mapped on my window, 4 April 2014
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Better, more qualified brains than mine will comment on musicality or the timbre of the stanzas. All I can reflect on is how I feel in response to the experience of The Take Off & Landing of Everything.
There's always some anxiety that a well-loved artist will miss the mark, but not so here. Within one listen the melodies were my pulse; tho I do wish Mr Garvey would stop going through the bins of my soul for his lyrics. For me, the magic of Elbow is that the music feels like it was made only for me. Thank you guys.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Elbow - The Take Off and Landing of Everything, 30 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Take Off And Landing Of Everything (MP3 Download)
I loved The Seldom Seen Kid but was slightly disappointed with Let's Build a Rocket Boys - a lot of good tracks but not as consistent as 'Kid'. This album is almost as good as 'Kid' and I think after a few more listens I think it'll equal if not better it. There's a lovely feel to this album and I like it a lot.
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