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on 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 September 2017
I really enjoyed the earlier albums by Elbow but haven't listened to them that much of late. I saw them in concert over the summer and was inspired to buy a more recent album. This is ok but not much more, and for me, not a patch on their best work. Guy Garvey still has that wonderfully rich, gravelly voice, and the band are all accomplished musicians but the album lacks any stand out tracks or anything that is remotely memorable. The emphasis seems to be on the lyrics, which at times over-complicated and seem to be merely accompanied by backing music, rather than combining with an engaging melody to make an integrated or effective song. The songs tend to be very similar and the album as a whole is just a bit dull and monotonous. Elbow are a good band but this isn't their finest hour, try some of their earlier albums which are excellent.
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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 12 March 2016
After my son bought me the live album which was a surprise as I've not really shown in an interest in this band. But enjoyed that album. So after sampling a few tracks of this album I decided I would buy it . It certainly does grow on you and a great album for a long car journey. Quite mellow in places . I agree with other comments that this album does creep up on you . I would certainly recommend purchasing this for the price. Even if it was full price I still would buy it. Don't let the knock down price put you off , like it almost did me. Try it.!
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on 7 May 2014
I am a very happy Elbow fan. However, there are echoes of previous tracks / styles on this album and I do wonder if a step back now might be in order . After the success of The Seldom Seen Kid (glorious album) and the follow up Build a Rocket Boys! I feel they are floundering a little. Only surprising that with the success of Seldom Seen Kid it didn't happen sooner. It puts tremendous pressure on an act to have such huge success with an album, its easy to loose your way. But they are made of sterner stuff - they held their ground with Build a Rocket but I can't help but feel that perhaps now is the time to take a breath.

Having said that, Elbow standards are higher than most. I just love them.
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on 23 March 2014
The latest album from Elbow showcases the ability of this mature and sophisticated band, as I had expected from reading other reviews. The reason I decided to contribute my penny's worth is to congratulate them on their production team over the utterly breathtaking sound quality of the 45rpm double vinyl recording currently spinning on my deck. I wonder whether they calculated that they couldn't get all10 songs on two sides of a 33 rpm LP. So, rather than filling 3 sides at 33 rpm plus doing something artistic on the 4th side (check out Warpaint's recent "etched" vinyl release) they went for 45rpm and upped the quality a notch in so-doing... Fabulous, well done Elbow!
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on 21 August 2014
Totally addictive and the words so clear, not so much in terms of grasping the meaning immediately, and so interesting at all levels!! Silly, but I saw them three times before I got to realize the depth! If I wake up at night I find myself singing Charge in my head!! Only a few singers/groups have got into my skin as deeply! (Queen, Bob Dylan, Genesis, peter Gabriel, pink Floyd, Neil Young to name but a few, but those come to my mind instantly while listening to Take off and landing...!!) Marvellous! Lush!
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on 17 April 2014
So, Elbow are back - and not before time.
Some have said this album lacks ambition, and there's something to be said for that, which is why I've rated it at four stars instead of five. But Elbow playing it safe are still much better, musically and lyrically, than most of the stuff out there. This album is a low-key affair, with an immersive quality that reminds me of "Asleep In The Back". The closest they get to an anthem is probably "My Sad Captains", a cracking song that perfectly captures the joy of friendship, and the melancholy of growing older.
When I listen to Elbow, the world always seems a slightly nicer, sadder, and more beautiful place, and for that, I am very grateful to them.
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on 13 December 2017
This band has a distinct sound, most of their songs are slow which at the end of the day is a great way to wind down to.

Guy Garveys voice is very recognisable and easy to listen too each time I listen to this album.

A real treat for any fan of Elbow.
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on 17 September 2015
A beautiful record, I love this album a lot and ''my sad captains'' is an exception. In my own opinion, this album is the best since ''the seldom seen kid'' and also on the vinyl long-player version is great, as the speed is 45 rpm, in which I don't use 7 inch singles that often. Despite this, when I put this on, I often forget it is on 45 rpm, and when it is on 33 rpm vocalist Guy Garvey sounds drunk! But I've got used to it now of course.
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