Oscar Huckle - 29/07/2010
Having truly adored their previous albums, I recently bought, 'The Seldom Seen Kid' by Elbow and I can honestly say that I have listened only to this CD very frequently. Guy Garvey (lead singer) truly has an excellent voice. This album is simply beautiful and is sheer perfection because the quality of the music shows that the band have obviously spent a long time to perfect this album. The lyrics are extremely unique (they aren't like most other bands which their lyrics mostly rhyme) and most, if not all songs are close to perfection.
The album opens with, 'Starlings'. This is a great song with loud horns sounding quite frequently throughout the five minute breathtaking experience. Most of this song is instrumental, so the band don't show their quality of lyrics just yet. Trust me, the best is still to come!!! The next single is, 'The Bones of You', a really catchy song and is heavily supported by its outstanding chorus. The next song is, 'Mirrorball'. This one is beautiful. I love it: it's very light and peaceful, it makes you feel like you are in a spa centre with some music in the background. Simply harmonic. The first promotional single for this album, 'Grounds for Divorce' has secured a spot on the album. It is really catchy and packs a punch and has a steady beat. Brilliant, one of the best on the album. The lead single of the album often proves to be one of the best on an album in this case it was, 'Grounds for Divorce'. Next is, 'Audience with the Pope', which is a good song and has a great chorus. I especially love the guitar solo which guitarist Mark Potter has performed. The next song on the album is, 'Weather To Fly', another good song though not as good as others on the album. Don't get me wrong, this song is worthy to be on the album, but it doesn't live up to the reputation the other songs possess.
However, the next song on the CD, 'The Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver' is utter rubbish. This record should not be on the album. It lacks originality for me because the guitars and drums are too loud and even screeching at times and Guy Garvey's voice is hard to hear for me. The song is also too long and when it's already disappointing, an over five minutes song is somewhat unbearable to listen to. Shame, it had potential. Elbow are back on track with the next song, 'The Fix'. For me, this is one of the very best records on the album, the instruments are very good and once again, Mark Potter displays he is a very good guitarist. After that song, next is, 'Some Riot'. It is a very quiet piece of music with Guy Garvey (lead singer) having an opportunity to show that he can sing very well, in fact his singing is tremendous from my point of view. Very good song! Next is, 'One Day Like This' and for me this is the piece de resistance, the cherry on top. Fantastic lyrics and music for the instruments. This is true music for the ears. Marvellous!!! No wonder this was released as the second promotional single for the album and again, one of the lead singles proves to be one of, if not the best on the album. The penultimate song of the album is called, 'Friend of Ours'. Bryan Glancy was a friend of the band and his nickname given by the lead singer's father was the 'Seldom Seen Kid' hence the naming of the album. 'Friend of Ours' is clearly dedicated to Bryan's memory. The actual song is magnificent. I love the violins in this and once again, the lead singer proves to be amazing. The very last song is a bonus track, 'We're Away'. This song is very quiet, so you will need to turn your CD player up a tad to hear this I think. This song is only with a piano and a quiet beat from the drums and is not pumped up with electric guitars like other songs from this album and most other songs by different bands. (e.g Muse, Kaiser Chiefs, The Killers etc....) Good stuff it is!!!
This album is magnificent and in my opinion, is one of the very best I have ever heard. It truly deserved its BRIT award that it received for Best British Group from the 2009 awards. It was a shame it didn't win any more, but in my opinion, people nowadays are too busy listening to Alicia Keys, Muse, Jay-Z etc.... and forget about bands like Elbow who are truly accomplished, not making a business from rapping, beatboxing etc..... Well Done! I bow to you for I have been impressed with your fourth album released. Perhaps another Elbow treat is on the way...........?
Gary Dicks - 06/09/2009
Winning the Mercury Music Prize seems to be a bittersweet thing to me. As a musician, I see it as one of the most prestigious awards to obtain (way above such mainstream meaninglessness as the Brits or even the NME awards) but it has this terrible superstition attached to it. A stigma, if you will.
Never mind that though, this record, Elbow's fourth offering, 'Seldom Seen Kid' is truly beautiful. It has all the usual hallmarks of high-end musical aesthetics that can be found in the rock genre, such as elegant strings and blissful guitars, but also showcases a more unusual quality that is made beautiful in its blending with the traditional. This is, of course, Guy Garvey's "regional" vocals, a style possibly made more fashionable and arguably palatable by contempories Arctic Monkeys, which are often apparent but never intrusive and lend themselves to create a sort of reality, making the listener truly feel what is being sung. And what is being sung is not just an assortion of well-chosen notes but an array of skilfully-crafted poetry, from the poignant to the downright humorous.
My first experience of Elbow was a live one many years ago and then I had little by way of praise to say about them but now, after hearing 'Seldom Seen Kid' many times (as it is definitely a "grower"), I have nothing but praise. Let's hope that Elbow don't fall to the curse of the Mercury Music Prize.