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4.7 out of 5 stars467
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 28 May 2014
This release is the pinnacle of Elbow's work so far, in my opinion. There are no glaringly obvious anthemic sing-alongs, simply a stunning coherent CD of songs with real feeling, empathy and a warm humanity sadly lacking in most of today's music.

I do hope that they continue with Craig Potter as producer because I wouldn't want any outside influences ruining this evolution of the band as a tight knit unit.

A real grower, as all Elbow releases are, and a contender for album of 2015. Special mention to Guy Garvey for his lyrics, which continue to be pure poetry. A must buy.
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on 4 April 2014
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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on 10 March 2014
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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on 17 March 2014
I love the restraint, the lyrics, Garvey's plaintive, vulnerable voice, the atmosphere, the humour, the cover (gatefold and beautiful in this vinyl release) but most of all I love that this album was recorded in Salford by a proper Northern band who are great mates and came together naturally. You can't beat the intuitive feel of a band like this - you can't put people together, they have to find each other. Excellent and real.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 March 2014
The last album was beautifully enhanced with the Halle Youth Choir in a way that was organic and not at all gimmicky; thoughtful and well composed and subtly produced. Translated well to the live stage too.

This latest album is pointed and enhanced with very original use (in popular music context) of woodwinds and brass - I didn't want to title my review with windy goodness in case it's taken the wrong way :D

The 4 stars rather than 5 is because it has the warm blanket of familiarity of all things Elbow, so it doesn't sound earth shattering musically (although the lyrics are as always astoundingly insightful and often moving) - it does however grow on you with subtle detail of instrumentation and clever accompaniment.

This review will probably be updated with further listening, since Elbow's multilayered sound world changes perception everytime you hear it.
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on 30 March 2014
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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on 30 May 2014
I wasn't too sure about this new record when I heard This Blue World, but I was not to be disappointed! This is a brilliant album, right up with their best work.
Guys writing is at its peak, wonderful symbolic lyrics that perhaps reflect his personal situation at the time of its birth.
Seldom seen kid was an instant love at first listen for me, this record was good but has grown as I've become more familiar, like a lover who isn't just pretty but has depth of character and inner strength you admire and fall in love with.
As an aside if you can see Elbow live do so! I booked tickets before I'd heard any of this new material and boy I wasn't disappointed!
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on 15 March 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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on 12 April 2014
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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on 23 May 2014
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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