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Leaders Of The Free World

Leaders Of The Free World

1 Jan 2005
4.6 out of 5 stars 94 customer reviews

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Leaders Of The Free World
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Jan. 2005
  • Release Date: 15 Feb. 2014
  • Label: UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)
  • Copyright: (C) 2005 V2 Music Limited
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 49:28
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B0029EASS4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 94 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,010 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 10 Nov. 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
One of the pleasures of music is discovering a band early in their career and watching them grow and mature until they produce the album that you always suspected they were capable of. So it is with myself, Elbow and 'Leaders of the Free World'.
For me, the highlights of 'Asleep in the Back' and 'Cast of Thousands' were 'Powder Blue' and 'Fugitive Motel' respectively. So is there anything on the new album that reaches the heights those two tracks attained? Well maybe not quite, but taken as a whole, this is a wonderful album which displays a level of song writing and craftsmanship rarely seen these days.
It is some time since I owned an album in which I have felt confident enough to play every track from start to finish without worrying about 'that weaker track' or the usual 'fillers' (and OK Computer may be the last one, which gives some indication of how highly I rate this).
Highlights are too many to mention and like all good albums, keep revealing themselves with each listening, 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 bring to you tears, then nothing will.
After years of promising so much, Elbow have finally delivered. My only worry now is how they'll manage to follow this. 'Leaders of the Free World' is their best album to date by a country mile, and although I haven't rubbed salt and pepper into my hair just yet, it's going to take a great deal of time and effort from the band to match this one. In the meantime though, this should just be enjoyed for the intimate, thought-provoking, polished piece of work it is.
An absolute gem.
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Format: Audio CD
Truly an album that requires repeat listenings. Many, many times will you have to listen to this before you truly appreciate it. On first listen it's pretty enough, nothing new...but the album's genius lies under it's skin.
I reccommend dimming the lights, lying down, playing this at a reasonable volume and listening very carefully to the sounds you're hearing. It's only then when it becomes apparent how unique Elbow are.
Their trick involves compiling sounds together to form a cohesive whole, held together by enthusiastic drumming and bassing. Nowhere better is this exemplified than on the stunning "My Very Best"...I don't know where most of those noises come from, but added to the mix are lush violins, delicate electronics and spidery guitar lines. The cumulative impact is a gorgeous song. It's like building a palace out of gold bricks. The end effect is beautiful, but every single brick is equally beautiful.
See, this album needs time to be picked apart. Listen to the intricate arrangements and appreciate how innovative this band truly are. Their sound is a warm, human sound, perfect for these winter months. Let it seep in and you'll find it soundtracking your life. Personally, I always hear "Station Approach" in my head when I walk through big cities these days.
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By A Customer VINE VOICE on 4 Aug. 2005
Format: Audio CD
When you've a track record as sound and as promising as Elbow's is, it isn't wrong to have great expectations for their latest offering... It's alright, the boys don't disappoint.
Picking up from where 'Cast of Thousands' left off, this album develops further in just about every aspect. In terms of mood and general sound, their 2003 release felt a lot more spacious and hopeful than 'Asleep In The Back', this newie just opens everything up again making the tracks seem enormous and epic, but without losing the humble touch that makes Elbow songs so charming.
'Station Approach' kicks the album off as a gathering builder like 'Ribcage' was previously before exploding into a stomper of an anthem. 'Picky Bugger' seems understated and cute, but there are typically sinister tones in Garvey's lyrics showing that the band have far from given up on the more menacing songs in their backcatalogue. 'Forget Myself', the first single, soars mightily with a massive energy that I've never heard in Elbow before- another indication of the gutsy direction taken here. 'The Stops' takes things down a peg and is a fine example of the hard work that has gone into the production on this record (which I'll come to later). The title track that follows is perhaps the most un-elbow one here, and whilst you might be caught off guard by the bizarre out-of-character guitar bit, it's not difficult to notice the similarities with 'Coming Second' off their debut- marching along with a bite and a sharp tongue, its a real highlight and (hopefully) a single. 'An Imagined Affair' calms things down again, but seemed to pass me by a bit on the first listen- perhaps one of those growers as a song that needs attention.
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By A Customer on 13 Sept. 2005
Format: Audio CD
Regulars of indie night life were introduced to a disquieting concept last month with the release of "Forget Myself", the first single off "Leaders of the Free World". Elbow? Them drab Mancs, who can't really be called sub-Coldplay because they're too grey, bringing out a dance floor smash? But yes- with pounding drums and a shout along chorus, Elbow are back, clearly with something prove. Although there's nothing else on "Leaders..." that will satisfy the casual Franz fan, the same sense of things coming together for the Bury quintet is tangible throughout. Long-term fans will savour classic slow burners like "The Stops" and "My Very Best", but there's the sarkily spare "Picky Bugger" and the ferocious bite of the title track to consider, too. Guy Garvey's lyrics also seem to get better and better with every listen, with genius lines like 'I feel like I designed the buildings I walk past' and 'they're pacing Piccadilly in packs again' leaping out when you least expect it. "The Everthere" is a heart-wrenching take on "When I'm 64", whilst the man in "Great Expectations" is so drenched in love he imagines weddings in the most mundane of settings.
Elbow are part of a very select group of British rock acts, which include in their number Super Furry Animals, British Sea Power and Mogwai, who every few years release yet another masterpiece which their fans devour and the general public largely ignores. No doubt "Leaders..." will attract the same amount of middling interest that "Cast of Thousands" did, but those who own it will know better. Why let the general public have songs as perfect as "An Imagined Affair" and "Station Approach" anyway? This is Elbow's best yet.
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