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Little Fictions

Little Fictions

3 Feb 2017
4.6 out of 5 stars 133 customer reviews

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1
4:25
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2
3:39
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3
5:55
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4
4:27
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5
3:56
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6
5:24
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K2
K2
5:18
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8
2:40
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9
8:26
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10
4:15
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Maybe I'm just an eternal pessimist, but having been an ardent Elbow fan since hearing Cast Of Thousands on its release, I've since carried an overwhelming fear that the law of averages suggests that the band will release a disappointing album one day. I'm very happy to report that Little Fictions is not that album.

A lot has happened since The Take Off And Landing Of Everything was released - drummer Richard Jupp has left the band to set up a drum school in Manchester, while Guy has gone and got married and is set to become a Father this year. The fact that his marriage, to actress Rachael Stirling, and subsequent honeymoon in Sardinia took place while this album was being written, is evident in the lyrics throughout. Although Little Fictions could be described as mellow, the overall feeling is one of joy, happiness and love. (Incidentally, if you'd like to see some of Rachael Stirling's work, check out the hugely underrated British comedy 'Detectorists' - it's excellent!).

Little Fictions starts with Magnificent (She Says) which was released prior to the album. It's a superb opener, not quite the driving force of Station Approach, Starlings or The Birds, but once you hear it you'll be singing it all day. It tells the story of a little girl on a beach looking out over the vast ocean - "This is where the echoes swell to nothing on the tide, And where a tiny pair of hands, Finds a sea-worn piece of glass, And sets it as a sapphire in her mind". That lyric apparently came from something Rachael said about finding smooth pieces of glass on beaches as a child and it's a nostalgic image to carry with the song. The wonderful strings of the Halle Orchestra set the pace here and this will be a festival favourite this summer.
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Format: MP3 Download
I didn't judge this on first listen as you never can with Elbow. Their music always merits replaying as details first missed come to the fore and you discover how endlessly layered their work is. The boys had released their single, the immediate and hopeful opener, "Magnificent (She Says)" prior to the release of the album, then again with the rather wonderful "All Disco" and then we were given "Gentle Storm" just a week before the release of the album itself. I was less immediately taken with "Gentle Storm" as it seemed a little too thin, the only real melody existing in Guy's voice but with every listen it's really a grower. The pulsing rhythm and sparse use of piano are vital here and it's quite a stunning little track once fully digested. What a contrast to the opener, but not in a bad way.

The album in general is quite a bit more percussive than recent albums, ironically so given the departure of drummer Richard Jupp, and first impressions are that Jupp's absence stands out...well, not like a sore thumb... but is certainly difficult to ignore. The album as a whole feels much more rhythmic and pulsing than their previous work, it's much fleshier than say, Build a Rocket Boys!, and far less glacial than The Take off and Landing.

Ostensibly, it's less melodic than their previous three albums - Seldom Seen, Build, and Take Off all boasted some fine melodies, and while the melodies are definitely there on Little Fictions, I do think the boys have gone for a more complex sound here, and it's about texture and rhythm first, Guy's mellifluous vocals providing most of the melody on offer. I think Take Off was a more accessible affair, if you will.
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By The Wolf TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Feb. 2017
Format: MP3 Download
If you want to listen to an outfit who understand how to craft a fine tune then look no further
than Elbow and their new (7th) album 'Little Fictions'. They really do know how to do it and
Guy Garvey continues to be the man to bring them to life with his soft Northern vowels and
mellifluously lustrous tone. The true magic lays in just how effortless he makes it all seem.

The band seem to have found their Latin mojo on songs like 'Gentle Storm', 'Trust The Sun'
and 'K2' and it suits them well. Others, such as opening number 'Magnificent (She Says)'
and the stunning title track (both of which have ravishing orchestral arrangements), exhibit the
cinematic scope of some of Procul Harum's finest moments. Conversely however 'Montparnasse'
is a simply-structured, stripped-down little gem. Best of the bunch? Tricky when it's all so good.
I'd choose 'All Disco' which sports some heart-stopping vocal harmonies. A sublime invention.

As ever Elbow are never in a hurry to get it all over and done with. This music pulses with
warmth and good fellow-feeling. It's life-affirming stuff and just the job for these troubled times.

A truly wonderful album.

Essential.
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This is a generally mellow affair with a hopeful mood running throughout and nothing particularly dark or edgy. Guy is in a comfortable place right now and that's reflected in the songs, which take a step closer to Phil Collins territory ('Fall in love with me...everyday...') while maintaining the unmistakeable Elbow stamp. But it's not Guy's fault that he's in love with his new wife who's expecting..Anyway, let's enjoy the mood and be happy for Guy who's had his fair share of 'dark nights of the soul' in his rapidly receding youth. He's certainly showing no signs of writer's block, with a few of the middle songs a little lyric-heavy. I LOVE the opening single, which is just perfect, although I need Guy to explain a few of the lines, hopefully he's done that somewhere. Then a quick declaration of love, Elbow-style before another killer track with a hypnotic bass line and some great piano work. Song four has a strong chorus although it doesn't appear until the three minute mark, five is a slow mellow number, six is okay but a bit wordy, track seven is good, a kind of 'state of the nation' address from Guy and a nice flow to the music, eight is another wee love song and now HOORAY we've made it to 'Little Fictions' an Elbow masterpiece and career highlight. Eight minutes of Elbow bliss with some great words from Guy. That just leaves the last one, a gorgeous love song with some spectacularly beautiful lyrics and a bit of chat from the band in the closing seconds. Guy Garvey has the ability to make grown men cry, and there are several moments here where you get that unexpected surprise, a turn of a phrase, the emotion hits and the tears roll down...and that really is why we keep coming back for more...we're only human, after all...
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