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LongLegs
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PostSubject: Re: build a rocket boys! reviews   Thu 10 Feb 2011, 12:22

HattyMarris wrote:
LongLegs wrote:
There's a little review from a quality rag here:

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/playlist/view/174771/Review-Build-a-rocket-boys-Elbow/
Wink

Do you think the reviewer actually heard the album.
They said the album started with The Birds :s

I thought the opener was The Birds...
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PostSubject: Re: build a rocket boys! reviews   Thu 10 Feb 2011, 14:47

LongLegs wrote:
HattyMarris wrote:
LongLegs wrote:
There's a little review from a quality rag here:

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/playlist/view/174771/Review-Build-a-rocket-boys-Elbow/
Wink

Do you think the reviewer actually heard the album.
They said the album started with The Birds :s

I thought the opener was The Birds...

Im confused now because some say The Birds and some say Lippy Kids :s
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PostSubject: Re: build a rocket boys! reviews   Fri 11 Feb 2011, 01:26

Pr' sure it's "The Birds."
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PostSubject: Re: build a rocket boys! reviews   Sat 12 Feb 2011, 09:54

The new issue of Word magazine has a review of BaRB.

Here's some snippets

'Warm, completely free of ego, Elbow's new album is a mastetrcalss in restraint'.

'BaRB is th erare sound of a band at ease with themselves, ostensibly left to their own devices. And it's fascinating to see what they've chosen to make with everything to play for: a beautiful, wifully understated record. Where the instincys of their peers in the heart-pumping game - Coldplay, Radiohead, you know the gang - might be, after a hit, to make their music more extreme in some respect, either grander or more twisted, Elbow have reacted to the well deserved success of TSSK by doing neither. They've opted for extreme subtlety.'

'Many of these songs barely get out of bed, let alone jump up and throw the curtains wide. Tehy feature minimal down-tempo pulses, drones, repeated single notes, drum-less rhythms.'

'...its undemonstrative nature is typical. Elbow have always done this, but their confidence here is palpable.'

'Though it's immediatley clear that this is a major work by gifted and experienced musicians BaRB isn't an immediate record. It hasn't been designed to smack anyone around the head. It can only startle you with it's modesty.'

'Like Philip Glass they use repetition rather than dynamic shifts for impact. The sequencing is perfect. If you listen to BaRB from soup to nuts, the emotional intensity and sense of exhilaration climbs without resorting to the kind of bludgeoning that , say, Arcade Fire might rely on.'


Can't wait. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: build a rocket boys! reviews   Sat 12 Feb 2011, 10:01

Smile now that's quite reassuring
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PostSubject: Re: build a rocket boys! reviews   Fri 18 Feb 2011, 11:15

It's all sounding good! Very Happy Very good...
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PostSubject: Re: build a rocket boys! reviews   Fri 25 Feb 2011, 10:11

i found this:
http://www.theskinny.co.uk/article/101582-elbow-build-a-rocket-boys

it seems they never heard the record
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PostSubject: Re: build a rocket boys! reviews   Fri 25 Feb 2011, 15:20

Uncut 4/5 Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: build a rocket boys! reviews   Wed 02 Mar 2011, 11:09

has the NME reviewed it yet? :-?
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PostSubject: Re: build a rocket boys! reviews   Wed 02 Mar 2011, 12:19

errant wrote:
has the NME reviewed it yet? :-?

It will probably be reviewed in this weeks issue, out today i believe
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PostSubject: Re: build a rocket boys! reviews   Wed 02 Mar 2011, 19:10

Here's NME review: http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5178/5492562756_671c8ddf64_b.jpg
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PostSubject: Re: build a rocket boys! reviews   Wed 02 Mar 2011, 19:25

The NME is a waste of space - a track by track review would have been good, I don't really want to read about Chris Martin's guitar in an album review for Elbow!
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PostSubject: Re: build a rocket boys! reviews   Wed 02 Mar 2011, 20:51

I think that's the first time elbow haven't had a 9/10 from NME
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PostSubject: Re: build a rocket boys! reviews   Thu 03 Mar 2011, 10:04

James1983uk wrote:
The NME is a waste of space - a track by track review would have been good, I don't really want to read about Chris Martin's guitar in an album review for Elbow!

I completely agree and that was confirmed last night when we had the displeasure of sitting on the train next to the NME reviewer all 1 hour 27mins home. He had no idea about Elbow, none, thought the album was out already, blah, blah, very frustrating.

He wrote these words of wisdom:

http://www.nme.com/news/elbow/55256


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PostSubject: Re: build a rocket boys! reviews   Thu 03 Mar 2011, 10:05

HattyMarris wrote:
I think that's the first time elbow haven't had a 9/10 from NME

it is indeed... first band to have got 9/10 from their first four albums... which was the only reason i wanted to know what they would give BARB...
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PostSubject: Re: build a rocket boys! reviews   Thu 03 Mar 2011, 16:06

4 stars from the guardian
http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/mar/03/elbow-build-rocket-boys-review
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PostSubject: Re: build a rocket boys! reviews   Fri 04 Mar 2011, 05:15

A plethora of narrow-minded music snobs on the Guardian website there - not the reviewer, I hasten to add, but in the comments section! Very Happy

The term "dad rock" really annoys me. It would be all right if it

a) was accurately ascribed (myself and many other fans of elbow are not dads nor old enough to be the middle-aged dad they're clearly referring to (late 40s'-thinking-they-can-dance-at-weddings-age).

b) was not meant as a derogatory slur, and was just a disinterested label for a particular genre of music.

Alas, my hopes are set too high.

Some good reviews from the press....nothing outstanding, yet....but who cares as long as we enjoy it? Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: build a rocket boys! reviews   Fri 04 Mar 2011, 14:20

"They do what they’ve always done: construct billowing repetitive structures out of tightly-controlled ideas – twisty guitars, razor-bass, clockwork piano, shakes and rattles and finger-clicks – and then invite a bearlike man with a helium roar to fill them with his scuffed and maudlin love letters."
http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/cb5c
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PostSubject: Re: build a rocket boys! reviews   Fri 04 Mar 2011, 18:50

That's a wonderful article. YEAH, BBC. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: build a rocket boys! reviews   Fri 04 Mar 2011, 19:33

Overall its great to see the positive reaction to this record. I can't wait to hear it on Monday.
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PostSubject: Re: build a rocket boys! reviews   Fri 04 Mar 2011, 20:34

got the album today, my thoughts...



The Birds
Like starlings in that it makes an excellent opener, will grow on me I know and I already love it. Cracking live! Looking back is for the birds… and for Elbow when they wrote this record.

Lippy Kids
A brilliant reflective song, but we already knew it, as Guy said, “Good, the internet works”. The album version sounds slightly softer to me than the live one released on youtube. LOVE the piano in the closing moments.

With Love
Halle choir win! Love will find you out. The studio version lacked a small something for me (compared to the live and interactive performance anyway).

Neat Little Rows
I like this song. I’m sure I’ve already rambled about it somewhere on these boards so I won’t repeat myself. I like the centre part (not included in any edit I heard so far). I couldn’t make out what Guy was singing on Wednesday with his back turned!

Jesus is a Rochdale Girl
On the live version released on the Guardian website I didn’t like the piano riff, it stuck out as decidedly odd. It’s softer and less intrusive here in my opinion, not spoiling the song. I hope this is in the live set in Nottingham (long shot I know!), I think it would be amazing live, during the “break” part with Guy and Craig.

The Night will always win
I hope this grows on me, it didn’t stick out to me on first listen. I enjoyed it live though, and the journalist (vs the knight) will always lose for not listening to the lyrics!

High Ideals
The Music grabbed me more than the lyrics, they need time to bed in in my head. Piano and guitar always so good from the Potter brothers of course.

The River
This I instantly liked, the lyrics *did* grab me on this one. Simple tale, emotionally told. It’s what Elbow do best… again, this would fit in the set with Craig and Guy in the middle. Those two could perform songs like this for a full day without anyone getting bored of course….

Open Arms
“The song with finger rolls” as we remembered it from Cambridge, I really really love this track. It might be my favourite after many listens, it’s the one I like the most after one listen certainly, but time will tell…….. Such a good track live too of course.

The birds, reprise
I didn’t like this. I think it will be skipped a lot for me. The singer just doesn’t sound… emotionally involved in my opinion. I don’t know the story behind how they know the man and I don’t doubt it’s touching, I don’t think it fits with the flow of the album.

Dear Friends
I had to listen to it twice… A really good closer for the album, I love a good reflective song from Elbow. Daydream away and bring your friends with you… I do that all the time.


Imo, take out the reprise of the birds and you have a damn fine listen!

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PostSubject: Re: build a rocket boys! reviews   Sat 05 Mar 2011, 00:31

"The air of exultant expectation recollected in tranquility pervades the entire album, with Garvey confiding memories and misgivings to the natural world... The rest of Build a Rocket Boys! seems to hover gently, as if suspended in the mist of memory, built around Craig Potter's static, almost minimalist keyboards, with repetitive monotone piano parts swathed in soothing organ or undulating harmonium, propelled forward by rolling tom-toms."
The Independent, 4/5

"His chat-up lines need a bit of work - but his band have written another classic."
London Evening Standard, 4/5

"This is the real deal, magnificent in its composition and execution. Not everything on the album works, but when it does it’s some of the best music you’ll hear this or any other year."
The Irish Times, 4/5

"Expansive yet intimate, ornate yet seductive, this is capital-A Art rock without pretense, but with tremendous heart."
SPIN, 8/10

"Touched by ambitious, intuitive invention."
Mojo, 4/5

"A quietly beautiful record: anthemic, but not bombastic."
UNCUT, 4/5
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PostSubject: Re: build a rocket boys! reviews   Sat 05 Mar 2011, 09:05

I feel giddy with excitement as I hope to get mine today.

All your posts are most encouraging. The Camb show really got my juices flowing. Totally adored Open Arms live.

The Independant Review: HERE
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PostSubject: Re: build a rocket boys! reviews   Sat 05 Mar 2011, 23:56

Review of "Build a Rocket Boys!"

First, I shall do a track-by-track review and then I shall sum it up as a whole. I have listened to it twice all the way through.

1. The Birds

Excellent opening track of eight minutes in length but one that doesn't feel anything like eight minutes. The claustrophobic melody loops and loops, sweeps, dives and then soars, much like its namesakes, and I think the way it gradually builds is just marvellous. Garvey's vocals here are especially excellent, particularly in the the later parts of the song; the crescendo here is just amazing.

2. Lippy Kids

First impression is, rather predictably, "I prefer the live version on YouTube". Don't get me wrong; it's a lovely song, a great track regardless, and I love choral music; it can be some of the most beautiful and affecting music in existence. However, what it seems to do here is hide Mark Potter's amazing, poignant, gently-stirring guitar, and this was one of the central emotional pulls of the melody in the online version. I don't think the choir is unwelcome as such - it's a nice addition - but I personally feel it's a better song without. The Halle Youth Choir add a different dimension, certainly, and not necessarily a bad one - I thinkit just gives the song a different feel, the melody is altered....it's a sadder song, essentially, than the YouTube version, which seems to bathe in optimistic nostalgia. Having said all of this, I have a strong feeling this version will really grow on me because it's just such an achingly beautiful idea, let alone song.

3. With Love

I knew I'd like this one and I wasn't proven wrong. It ended up being a little sparser than I expected it to be from the preview but I just smiled all the way through. An effing COOL song. Brilliant, catchy tune, wonderful bass, handclaps, terrific lyrics.....what more could you want? Loved the other boys' more prominent-than-usual vocals here too.

4. Neat Little Rows

The single version really grew on me, but conversely to "Lippy Kids", the album version here is even better. It's a belter of a tune, very radio-friendly, but not screamingly-so; I think it has enough of the Elbow kitsch value to separate it from quick-fix, drive-thru, "chart fodder" and is, musically, a monster. There's just an awful lot to it and the added length really benefits from a song that acts as a brilliant foil to the two sandwiching songs, "With Love" and the song I'm about to talk about, "Jesus is a Rochdale Girl" - it's anything other than sparse. In the best way possible.

5. Jesus is a Rochdale Girl

Another track where you listen, tap your feet, and though not as "cool" perhaps as "With Love", it still has such a uniquely-Elbow-smile-as-you're-listening-vibe. It's so, so sparse this song, barely anything to it, but it's absolutely wonderful as a result. It's almost as though the band are just jamming and Garvey, between songs, has just made it up on the spot. And he probably could if his wordsmith abilities thus far are anything to go by. Ironically, these lyrics are actually years old, what used to be part of a poem he wrote when he was 20. You know it because the lyrics spell it out. Nonetheless, there's something recurrent here about Elbow.... that moment where you catch them, totally chilled out, almost off-guard, creating genius and they look up and say, "What?" and we say, "What amazes us is.....you're not even trying."

Sublime.

6. The Night Will Always Win

This is actually the first song on the album.....no, The Birds had it slightly (quite Any Day Now-ish) but the first one that really harked back specifically to anything the band had done previously. While "Lippy Kids" is a tear-jerker, it isn't gloomy, and this is the first track on the album I would class as even remotely gloomy, something Elbow have often been labelled (though as a rule, a label that has often eluded me). It's got theaura and tempo of Switching Off and Some Riot to it, though lyrically, it's a lot more mundane (subject matter, that is....Garvey's lyrics may imbue mundanity but never through it). It's a really fine addition and one that while not completely bowling me over on first listen, will surely really grow on me.

7. High Ideals

Whoever said Elbow didn't do "rhythm" are talking out of their backsides. We all knew this already of course; I think "Leaders of the Free World" proved that, as an album generally, and while many of their songs feature unorthodox chord changes, and slightly more fluidity melodically-speaking, many aren't like this.....Little Beast and Fallen Angel off the two first albums.....the bulk of the first two thirds of Leaders....and of course, the most obvious contender from Seldom Seen.....The Bones of You. Terrific song rhythmically, and here we have not Build a Rocket Boys' answer, but another fine entry into their rhythmic stable. Another Elbow staple is the experimentation with sound. Clearly Craig Potter had several eargasms with his new toy here, but nonethless, it's not that transparent, honest! What it is though is a brilliantly rhythmic song, excellent bass, and though the lyrics for this one seems almost drowned out by Craig pissing around with his keyboard Very Happy , it's a great track.

8. The River

Elbow, Elbow, Elbow. You're short-changing us. 2 minutes 51 seconds? Who are you? The Beach Boys? The Rocket Boys! Ah! Please don't change your name to that. I will never, ever listen to your stuff ever again.

We are shortchanged here, it has to be said. But on running time alone. This is an absolutely beautiful track that will, I think, become one of their most cherished. Elbow write music that brings generations of music lovers together; can you really see an 80 year-old passing his or her grandson's bedroom door asking him to "Turn that racket down!" when he's listening to track 8 of his new, favourite album "Build aRocket Boys!" something he and his dad both got for their 21st and 50th birthdays respectively? Hardly. "This is lovely dear, who is it?"; "Elbow, Nan."; "There's no need to be rude, dear."

Forgive my accidental meanderings into League of Gentlemen dialogue.....the point is, it's an ageless love song, simple, heartfelt, and, I think, impossible to dislike. Gorgeous.

9. Open Arms.

We've hit a minor stumbling block. I am not that crazy about this song. Not yet anyway. The verse is really nice, and it's on lyrical top-form as ever - I love what the song is about. However, the chorus actually really annoys me at the moment. It's a microwave-meal of a contender for a single, but I have to say, it's no One Day Like This. The melody is immediate and not exactly offensive but it's.....how can I put this politely? Just a bit boring. Elbow? Boring?

Maybe it'll grow on me but I have to say that if there is one track to skip on this record, for me, it's this. It just feels a bit too transparently stadium-friendly to me; it may as well be called "Stadium Song", and I think, were Coldplay to have released this (minus the genius lyrics, obviously), they would have got away with it more. It's not a bad song - it's just more their field these days, I think. We have "With Love" and we have "Neat Little Rows" and we have "High Ideals" just on this album alone......perhaps even "The Birds" too, with its long-drawn-out crescendo. What all of these have that "Open Arms" doesn't, is a degree of sophistication with their subtle bombast, if such an oxymoron can possibly exist. A shame, as it's the only weak link, I think. And as weak links go, it's still fits into the "good" category. Just perhaps not quite splendid.

10. The Birds (reprise)

A previous reviewer had this as their "track to skip" and I disagree. I certainly think it only works as part of the album....it's a reprise, after all, but I think it's a wonderful, different thing to do, and I don't think it overdoes the sentiment at all. My only problem is that it's miles too short. It needs to build a bit and gain momentum, a longing look back from an old man's perspective. I think he sounds amazingly in tune emotionally, actually, and it has the acorn of brilliance. It's over before it's even started, alas. A reprise needs to be brief.....but perhaps 2 and a half minutes? 3 minutes? 90 seconds is over in a flash. The song itself is a stonking 8 minutes, after all.

11. Dear Friends

Quintessential Elbow to finish the album, here. Lovely stew of sounds, Garvey's gullet its complementary gravy; it's not quite up there with "Scattered Black and Whites" (what is?!) but the tempo, the delicate composition, the "thanks for listening, goodbye and take care" vibe; it's all still there. And I love, love, love the final few moments, the album finishing on that longing brass.. a horn and a trumpet in unison, I believe....it sounds like a steam train leaving the station, Elbow, our relatives, our friends, our compadres, waving goodbye.

How very Edith Nesbit. I'm filling up.

And so, we have "Build a Rocket Boys!"

Do you know what? It doesn't have the complexity, I feel, of The Seldom Seen Kid, and contrary to some others' views that's more of a grower than SSK, I disagree - I think it's more immediate (SSK didn't wow me from the off....that album was much more of a grower IMO).

Neither has it quite the edge of Asleep in the Back (they were young!) nor the often funereal melancholy of Cast of Thousands. I disagree with Garvey when he says it's most similar to their first album; I think if it's most similar to anything, it's the whimsical, upbeat, we-aren't-miserable-northern-gits "Leaders of the Free World", but..... no. It doesn't have the agenda of that record. It's a far more innocent affair. It embodies some of Leaders, wink, nudge, aren't-we-cheeky ambience, with Seldom Seen Kid's oddly age-defying old-fashionedness, a sprinkling of Asleep and Cast's gloom, and throws it out there for its listeners to catch. The goodwill abounds, the musical experimentation continues, the confidence in minimalism hasn't waned, the occasional-and-surprising bouts of energy delight, and overall, it actually makes you feel like a child. At Christmas. You can smell the innocence. You can feel the weight of adult eyes looking over you, not with aggression, but with care, and with wonder, and with love (see what I did there?).

Asleep in the Back was a confused, edgy, melancholic, beautiful cry for help; Cast of Thousands made sense of some of the issues raised in AATB, but with that sense came further melancholy, a maturity of feeling; Leaders of the Free World calmed it down, lightened it up, and the boys had a voice, occasionally outside of their own personal problems; the Seldom Seen Kid was their most mature record to date, and that's what it screamed; classy, intelligent, grown-up music; and now we have Build a Rocket, Boys! Only this time, they've gone back to before Asleep in the Back. It is on one hand through they eyes of an adult, but it is an, on the other,simultaneously vicarious pursuit. For 54 minutes, or thereabouts, the men became boys again.

At risk of overusing this word and being tirelessly tautological......it's a damn LOVELY record. And I am proud to be its owner.

P.S. Since writing this review, I've given it a third listen. "Open Arms" is great aside from that chorus, which grates, sadly. Sad
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PostSubject: Re: build a rocket boys! reviews   Sun 06 Mar 2011, 01:22

elbowismymuse wrote:
9. Open Arms.

We've hit a minor stumbling block. I am not that crazy about this song. Not yet anyway.

[SNIP]

P.S. Since writing this review, I've given it a third listen. "Open Arms" is great aside from that chorus, which grates, sadly. Sad
Since NME posted the video yesterday, I spent a lot of time with the video on. My initial reaction was along the lines of, "Oh, this is just the band doing 'One Day Like This.' Or maybe the band showing Snow Patrol what 'Crack the Shutters' really should have been." I was focusing on the sound and the chorus, and that's what I got out of the song.

And so I figured I would probably be, at best, lukewarm on the song, much as I am toward "One Day Like This." Don't get me wrong, I like "ODLT," but for me it's not the heart of that album -- that would be the "Bones of You"/"Mirrorball"/"Tower Crane" axis. Except that I did admit that "Open Arms" was a much catchier song than "ODLT." But, still, an anthemic arena song.

Then, round about five o'clock, I started to piece together the lyrics on the verses. So then I understood the narrative tableau of the song, and I began to understand how the chorus fit.

And I utterly lost it. I began to weep.

"Open Arms" may have sounded like "One Day Like This," but it's really "Tower Crane Driver" by way of "Let It Be." The verses paint a powerful picture of loneliness, the chorus paints a portrait of friendship and acceptance, and, I admit, this song hit very close to home for me.

Powerful stuff.

In my book, anyway. Smile
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