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They've done it...,
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This review is from: Leaders Of The Free World (Audio CD)
There is something immensely satisfying about discovering a band early in their musical career and watching them develop and grow to a point where they produce the album that you always knew was in them somewhere. So it is with myself, Elbow and 'Leaders of the Free World'.
For me, the two best tracks off 'Asleep in the Back' and 'Cast of Thousands' were 'Powder Blue' and 'Fugitive Motel' respectively. So is there anything on 'Leaders of the Free World' that reaches the dizzy heights these songs attained? Well, maybe not quite, but taken as a whole, this is a truly wonderful album and shows a new depth to Elbow, who have matured into a formidable outfit with a sound all of their own.
This is one of those rare albums you can just put on and listen to every track without fretting about 'fillers' and songs that just don't work. Too many highlights to mention, but 'Great Expectations' is pure Elbow - beautiful melody and heart-rending lyrics from which Guy Garvey drains every last ounce of emotion. If this song doesn't put a tear in your eye, then nothing will.
Perhaps the greatest testament I can pay this album is that I already know I will be playing it for the rest of my life (and I've not rubbed salt and pepper in my hair just yet). The production values and attention to detail in the lyrics and compositions just shout 'craftsmanship' and yet the whole thing still manages to sound spontaneous and incredibly intimate. An absolute gem.