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 The Take-off and Landing of Everything - My Critique

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errant
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PostSubject: The Take-off and Landing of Everything - My Critique   Fri 07 Mar 2014, 12:28

Just some random thoughts, all personal... apologies in advance for the English\Grammar, that’s what a Thatcher 80s education in the north east does to you…

Had the album on loop, lost count of the number of listens :

1. This World Blue

Not getting it yet... bland so far. Feel like I’m waiting for a take-off (pun intended) that never happens?

2. Charge

Vast vast improvement on the live version, great stuff by Craig on the keys which in an arena seemed like an 80s nik kershaw song. arrangement of the studio strings seems the key here.

3. Fly Boy Blue/Lunette
4. New York Morning.

Not much more to add with these two tracks. Having listened to the youtube version of NYM so many times i miss the old couple's voice over a smidge...

5. Real Life (Angel)

Slow to this one, seemed plodding at first and i'm not so sure where its going? i picture guy standing alone on his runway singing this one to a silent arena. brief glimpse of what jupp can do, with an understated appearance from the Hallé which stops this becoming a big anthem.

6. Honey Son

In 2001 guy described elbow as radiohead for girls. this is a return to that, although the king of limbs radiohead. the break up song - lyrics are some of guys best and cleverest, laid over the top of the simple more electronic feel of mark's music which is very welcome.

7. My Sad Captains

The early leader in terms of my favourite track on the album, combines great music & lyrics plus the brass section is a great addition to the sound... closest sing-a-long chorus (I’m thinking weather to fly here). Subtle in how clever it is.

8. Colour Fields

This reminds me of something, but i cannot put my finger on it. Simple rhythm section seems to move along gently, similar to honey sun (jupp must have had his feet up?). Striped down sound is appealing, guys lyrics are on bang on form.

9. The Take-off and Landing of Everything

the loud song, everyone seems to be contributing something here - i like the hammond-esq sound craig gets on this - an old skool elbow track almost? rolls along at speed and the layered repeating fade out chorus will go down well live i'd expect...

10. The Blanket Of Night

i love the double bass sound that pete gets on this track, the stop start feel to the verse, the peak of the chorus is lovely and craig is excellent... mark and jupp seem to disappear though...




so... This is more like the elbow i hold dear, i should think it will stand the test of time a lot better than BARB. no one person seems to stand out, no big drums, no big guitars. as with every album the lyrics enhance the sound, drawing you in and making you feel the music so much more, the songs don't just pass you by (with the exception on this world blue for me, personally) the sum is greater than the parts.

in my humble opinion there is a visible key change from the previous effort, it underlines that BARB was written with one eye on an arena audience - there are no open arm sings-a-longs here, nor any out & out singles, the music is best heard as a complete album.

i had hoped that guy would have picked up the guitar again, or that the output produced a sound that wouldn’t be playable live without guy on guitar - but that doesn’t apply here. i think jupp seems absent a little on this album too, no big drum noises, or intricate (grace under pressure style) drum patterns, similar with but so much with mark...

perhaps that is the key to this album, less is more? and why elbow are elbow, and why im sat where i am…
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PostSubject: Re: The Take-off and Landing of Everything - My Critique   Sat 08 Mar 2014, 13:29

Listened to it twice through and here are my thoughts:

1. This Blue World

I am really not sure about this song; the second half is better than the first but it just seems a bit flat to me; I am all for a slow-burner but this just seems lifeless. Maybe it will improve with repeat listens, and the second half is rather pleasant to the ear. A weak opener though IMO.

Note: Garvey's lyrics are always top notch so take that as read. Wink

2. Charge

I really like this; loved it played live at the last tour and this version is even better. A bit of Elbow humour in the lyrics too; can't go wrong.

3. Fly Boy Blue - What can I say? Nothing short of superb. I love the rhythm and tempo changes, love the crash of brass, guitar and drums and love the melody. Just fantastic.

3.b Lunette - almost as beautiful as Great Expectations, and that is quite something. Emotional, melodic, romantic, vivid, intelligent and all round beautiful.

4. New York Morning

It's a lovely song and balances musical immediacy with Elbow cerebra perfectly. A sing-along chorus and a blitzkrieg of adjectives and nouns describing an urban landscape first thing in the morning is a rare find.

5. Real Life (Angel) I really like this. It is slightly rhythmically derivative of Joshua Tree era U2, but then you add an Elbow melody and Garvey vocals and lyrics and you have a mighty thing to behold. Craig wrote the music to this; well done that man.

6. Honey Sun

Mark's song and markedly different (pun well and truly intended). Love it too. Simple, cheeky, fresh, just different.

7. My Sad Captains

I wasn't bowled over on first listen but this is a really nice song. It's very lighters- swaying-in-the-dark but there's a lot going on here musically and as ever Garvey's lyrics floor me.

8. Colour Fields

Not getting this one. A bit facile for Elbow, a recognisable tune and great lyrics of course, but it sort of washes over me.

9. The Take Off and Landing of Everything

What a track! So much going on! It will take a few listens to really appreciate but I love how dense it is. My only minor snag is that I don't like songs just fading out....I want it to end. Be complete. Might just be me though.

10. The Blanket of Night

I loved the acoustic version for its beauty; I love this version for its sheer darkness and drama. The music is a perfect match for the story being told and it's a superb way to end the album.

Overall, I love this new offering from the boys; one or two tracks don't do it for me, but the rest is solid stuff; a wonderful blend of melody, progressive song structuring, and ever-imaginative, vivid, intelligent lyrics.

8/10
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PostSubject: Re: The Take-off and Landing of Everything - My Critique   Sat 08 Mar 2014, 22:55

1. This Blue World:
Like others I'm not so sure. It's one that I'm really waiting to pick up - a convention of Elbow album starters (Ribcage, Station, The Birds), but it doesn't really.

Having said that, there's some listens where I can really get into it and caught up with the music and the lyrics.

2. Charge:
A proper good sing-along. Like Don McLean's American Pie, you feel good for remembering and reciting the lyrics. Or maybe that's just me.

A really pumping groove on the organs, a kickin' violin solo (which, correct me if I'm wrong, was originally intended to be brass when they played in 2012?) and the drum beat is really cool that when I heard the song I just had to get on my kit and blast it out. Jupp is a mega drummer but doesn't get to show it off enough.

3. Fly Boy Blue/Lunette:
I remember on the first ever radio play at this, at 7:50 in the morning, shattered, thinking "This is weird." How wrong was it: an amazing track that really shows off the other Elboys talents. Oh, and another one of my intial thoughts was, "Do you reckon cause Guy has put so much work into his lyrics in previous albums nowadays he just writes random words and lets us figure it out?" After hearing the line "A chinless prefect gone Godzilla"  Wink 

Lunette is beautiful and gorgeous and mesmerising and breathtaking and all the other adjectives applicable to any Elbow song of its nature. Guy just knows how to get it done and leave everyone in the room - Elbow fan or otherwise - speechless.

4. New York Morning:
A great anthem that will go down well in festivals. Staying true to classic Elbow with the repeated mantra. A really uplifting track.

5. Real Life (Angel):
Oh my. Where to even begin? I wasn't feeling it on this track on the first listen but now when I listen to it, there is just something about it I can't quite put my finger on.

The C section of the song is something special. It reminds me a lot of Newborn (minus the shouting) and, naturally, this is always a good thing. "While I have a breath in me/blood in my veins/you never need fear a thing in this blue world." Beautiful.

This is my go-to track on this album at the moment.

6. Honey Sun:
So cool. I feel cool just listening to it. Excellent lyrics from Guy, but it's interesting how that is the music Mark makes. After all, he was the singer of 'RPM' and, if that's the kind of stuff he can produce, he could have had a successful career  Wink 

I've also taken to calling people "Ringpip."

7. Colour Fields:
I love the sentiment in the lyrics of this song and the tune is joyous and inspiring, quite like its accompanying lyrics.

8. My Sad Captains:
Someone described this as "Great Expectations meets One Day Like This." I disagree. I get that this is a good song, and a big chorus, and if I wasn't an Elbow fan I'd think it was amazing, but it's nothing really that different to songs on say, Seldom or Build. And, let's be honest, Build wasn't their best (let's not mention 'The Birds (Reprise)').

I don't know. It's a good song and I can get into it when it's on, but it's not in the same class as the rest of the album.

9. The Take Off and Landing of Everything
YES!!! CLASSIC ELBOW!!! I'm not talking classic as in Leaders, I mean Asleep in the Back. Ahh. It's refreshing. The, "Yeahhh," right before the kick after the first verse is just so Elbow. Thank God we have a "big track" on the album that is more Grace Under Pressure than One Day Like This. I loves it.

I do, however, agree with elbowismymuse's point about songs fading out. As a drummer this gets to me Rolling Eyes 

10. The Blanket of Night:
Such a dark track. The frequent rests in this song make it, along with the lyrics of course. Still loving the line "Carry her, carry me," though when I first heard it (the line) I expected it to be in a big chorus as opposed to this work of art.

I love the Elbow tradition of following a big track with one like this. It makes you feel as though the album wasn't just building up to that one track, but in fact there is still so much value and care and beauty in the songs afterwards.


So that's me. I am, however, very biased.
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PostSubject: Re: The Take-off and Landing of Everything - My Critique   Sun 09 Mar 2014, 17:52

I love threads like this because they are an easy-to-read snapshot of all the ways we both think alike and think differently. I have roughly the length of a baby's nap to finish this, so to wit:

1. This Blue World:

There are only two tracks that clock over 7 minutes long on this album. This is the only one that doesn't get old quickly. After the first listen, I was left scratching my head a bit, but in the context of the album, it's the only logical way to state. Good to see a song that starts as a standard opener turn into something different and much more subdued. The last two lines seal the deal.

2. Charge:

Still fucking brilliant, even after listening to the live version a million times. Only complaint is that the piano melody follows the vocal melody note for note in a few places, giving it the feeling of a bad barb! hangover.

3. Fly Boy Blue / Lunette:

The most AITB-like track in the collection to me (more the first half than the second), and for that, the best thing here. If we played the game where we pick what track we hope sets the tone for the next album, I'd put all my chips on this one. Maybe that's cheating, but...

4. New York Morning:

Best anthem since 'One Day Like This.' Its placement, right after the growling of the previous track, couldn't be better. It's one that's an obvious single, but not so saccharine that it wears out after a handful of listens.

5. Real Life (Angel):

Here's where I split off from the rest of you...because I just do not feel anything for this song. Nothing positive, at least. The change-up at the end isn't quite enough to save it for me. Too dull to go this long.

6. Honey Sun:

Another throwback, another winner. This one probably benefits the most from the one-man-out method of recording.

7. My Sad Captains:

Ah, finally a proper sad anthem. Not quite 10 out of 10 for me, but gives me a proper TSSK thrill. Love the brass!

8. Colour Fields:

The third of the three old timey tracks. "Bright girl/Dead town" gets me, as someone who's stuck in a dead town myself (though I'm definitely in full possession of a penis).

9. The Take Off and Landing of Everything

Here comes the beating: wish this song was a b-side, where I feel it belongs. It's taking the piss out of 'Hotel Istanbul,' which is far far superior. It's so loud that it's obnoxious after 5 minutes or so. And after dragging on for two minutes longer? Ugh.

10. The Blanket of Night:

Ironically, this song feels threatening/ominous to me, which rather misses the point. It break the habit of the last two albums of ending on snoozers. Love it quite a bit. I'm holding off on listening to this acoustic version everyone is going on about, so I can have a treat later.

---------------------------

In spite of its simplicity, it's a denser album than the last one and I don't want to rush to judgement because there is so much to take in and parse out. I think there's a lot for old fans and new to like while still sounding like one cohesive album, which is a massive accomplishment, especially at their age (as a band). It's not perfect, but right now I feel like it's one of the best artistic statements they've made together.
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PostSubject: Re: The Take-off and Landing of Everything - My Critique   Mon 10 Mar 2014, 19:37

glad to see your opinions on this one.
Was starting to draft out my own thoughts on each track - but there's a lot going on in this album. I think it will take me some time to discover this one completley.

Suffice to say - you are all wrong on the opener Laughing its very subtle, perhaps subdued to start with but Guy's voice cuts through it for me with the key changes and a nice little tune

Charge -sparks it to life......back to the clever lyrics, drinking sorrows, drunken rants, with a touch of self pity and bitterness thrown in for good measure.

Fly Boy Blue /Lunette and NYM can't really add to anything more on these.

Real Life - Struggling a weak start for me...... second half is much better though.

Honey Sun is cracking and adds a nicer bit of depth to the album.

My Sad Captains - Still growing on me. Once I put the melancholy head on will probably get it as a Sad Captain now approaching 44 myself.

Colour Fields - Hmmmmm. Still pondering.

Title Track - Like it. - Could have been the first track on a different album - but I think the rest of this one wouldn't have suited such a heavier opener.

The Blanket of the Night - Great track (did i tell you the accoustic is better about ten times already) Na, seriously I get the album version too. Stick some strings add the words Ocean / Waves / Seas / Silver / Moon in a song and you've always got me hooked. (side note for the Echo & the Bunnymen appreciation society  Wink )
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PostSubject: Re: The Take-off and Landing of Everything - My Critique   Tue 11 Mar 2014, 22:16

Having listened to this through several times now, I would rank the songs as follows.

10. Colour Fields - just doesn't do anything for me. Not a dreadful song but the weakest on the album I think.

9. This Blue World - I like the second half; the first half I find just a bit dawdling and directionless.

8. My Sad Captains - a lovely song so its being at 8 says a lot for the album. My only reservation is that it feels a little emotionally familiar; it's a good song but a tad over-sentimental and I prefer the nods to comradeship that Dear Friends and Weather to Fly explored, both superior songs too.

7. The Take Off and Landing of Everything - again, love the song; really dense and an edgier, louder sound for Elbow. At 7 minutes plus, I think my only caveat is that it would be a better song if it built to a crescendo and ended properly instead of fading out. It is 7 minutes plus of intense "wall of sound" excellence, and I think a lot of it, mind.

6. Honey Sun - this is that song that makes me smile the most. I can't say anything bad about it and yet it is at 6 why exactly? It's very different, fresh, but I think other songs on the album just affect me more on a deeper level and that is where Elbow excel and why I love them.

5. New York Morning - a terrific single and a wonderful song. It's quite catchy for Elbow; I think the songs ranked higher than this are ones I am simply enamoured with - love this though; upbeat, euphoric and celebratory with wonderful lyrical imagery.

4. Real Life (Angel) I think this is an exquisite number that seems to have washed over many. It affected me immediately; it's beautiful in its message and subtle melancholy.

3. The Blanket of Night - Elbow have created some unique sounds in their time; the fluid piano and pitter-patter drum pattern that drives Scattered Black and Whites; the almost dwindling, about to go out, pulsing electricity sound and ambience of Switching Off, and here we have a song that oozes the fear and darkness it foretells. I think it's quite a cleverly composed song and a heartbreaking one at that. Very tragic.

2. Charge - I just adore it. It's a hark back to Leaders of the Free World in its blend of bitterness, cynicism and ennui and yet it's also a subtly touching song about loneliness simultaneously. It's edgy, rhythmic, and a little sad all rolled into one. It sort of feels like a soberer brother to Mexican Standoff too.

1. Fly Boy Blue/Lunette - hands down, the strongest track on the album. Gutsy, satirical, celebratory, frivolous music, a brilliant, erratic rhythm, experimental instrumentation, tempo shifts aplenty and then, Lunette, the most stunning moment on the album connecting beautifully and Elbow doing what they do best; beautiful music, a patient, assured, subtle backing that blends gorgeous, harmonious oohs and aahs with pared down, rhythmic, emotional guitar and open, intelligent poetical lyrics voiced exquisitely by Garvey. The moment where the guitar, brass and drums grind to a halt and everything slows down...not just the music, but the images in your head too....THE moment of TTOALOE as an album.

My tuppence anyway. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: The Take-off and Landing of Everything - My Critique   Wed 12 Mar 2014, 00:09

Real Life (Angel) is the track that immediately jumped out at me.
It literally stopped me in my tracks, I just love it!
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PostSubject: Re: The Take-off and Landing of Everything - My Critique   Wed 12 Mar 2014, 15:17

Really enjoying the varying reactions you're all having. I've been waiting a week + to hear the feedback from everyone here.

One small note I'd like to add here, and see if it's just me - I would have loved to see the title track last, rather than The Blanket of Night. It just works so much better for me as a closer, and I've been actually bugged by the way it sounds just now. I've rearranged the playlist so when I listen to the whole album, I've got those last two songs in reverse order, and I like that way better. Far be it from me to say the Elboys don't know best when it comes to sequencing the album, but that is one personal preference which has been growing over the week that I've spent listening to it. And it's really the only significant complaint I could make about anything on this album. Anyone else see where I might be coming from, or am I talking crap?
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PostSubject: Re: The Take-off and Landing of Everything - My Critique   Sat 15 Mar 2014, 00:18

It's makes interesting reading to get everyone's opinion on the album.  It's also lovely to see so much activity on the website once again now the new album is out.  It's been so quiet whilst the band has taken time off.  So good to be back.

On my third listen now! I'm loving this album. I agree with you Chrissie about the title track being placed last on the album. This would have been a good closer, very euphoric.  However I seem to be in the minority of really loving Colour Fields, I love the upbeat tone to it and lyrics and the simple tune, I think this is Pete's contribution.

Honey Sun, I love the moody sound and prominent guitar in this, it sounds somehow familiar.

My Sad Captain's, the horn really stands out and is right for this track and a real crowd swayer.

This Blue World I find very touching and Real Life, Angel I particularly like, especially when Guy describes on Xfm the meaning behind it.

Overall I'm easily pleased and can't wait to hear the songs played live.  There's really not one track I dislike and in comparison to the last album I think this is more like the old Elbow.  It will be interesting at the live shows what they will pick to play from their back catalogue.  Looking forward all the same.  My hubby can't stop playing it.  So off to HMV for a second copy tomorrow! Very Happy

Ps, forgot to mention The Blanket of Night, I love the acoustic version, it sounds so much more melancholic compared to the album version which, dare I say it sounds like science fiction if you get my meaning, just my opinion.
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PostSubject: Re: The Take-off and Landing of Everything - My Critique   Sat 15 Mar 2014, 16:08

I agree with you Lynne, so nice to come back to a buzzing forum again. I had been avoiding visiting the site over the past week until I'd fully absorbed the new album. And it's great reading everyone's diverse first impressions. Looking forward to seeing some of you over the upcoming tour once again!

It's safe to say I love the album after listening to it non-stop all week. Top tracks at the moment are Fly Boy Blue / Lunette, Real Life (Angel), My Sad Captains and The Blanket of Night. I wrote a blog post on my first impressions of the album here: http://themilkeyedmender.wordpress.com/2014/03/14/the-take-off-and-landing-of-everything/ so please do check it out if you fancy Smile

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PostSubject: Re: The Take-off and Landing of Everything - My Critique   Sun 16 Mar 2014, 14:03

I'm no great muso but the stand out song is The Blanket of Night, beautifully sung, fantastic lyrics, tragic theme, very sad... but AMAZING!!
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PostSubject: Re: The Take-off and Landing of Everything - My Critique   Thu 20 Mar 2014, 12:56

Tuesday evening the record was in my mailbox at last and I listened to it in my car on wednesday morning and once more in the evening at my computer.
I am really glad they got more back to their old trip-hop-style.
I review it more detailed, when my brain-walkman can play all titles Wink
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PostSubject: Re: The Take-off and Landing of Everything - My Critique   Sat 22 Mar 2014, 15:38

Hi Guys!
Where can I head acoustic version of The Blanket of the Night?
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PostSubject: Re: The Take-off and Landing of Everything - My Critique   Sat 22 Mar 2014, 20:41

Favourite tunes in order would be....

1. Real Life (Angel)
2. Charge
3. New York Morning
4. My Sad Captains
5. Fly Boy Blue/Lunette
6. The Blanket Of The Night
7. Honey Sun
8. This Blue World
9. TTOALOE
10. Colour fields

Really love the album - in a week I've played it FAR too much ; need to ease off it a little before I see them live.

Well Done again lads !



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PostSubject: Re: The Take-off and Landing of Everything - My Critique   Sun 23 Mar 2014, 02:05

I have fallen in love with My Sad Captains and I finally "get" the beauty of This Blue World, so my order has changed a little. I still feel very little for Colour Fields though. The other 9 tracks are all good to absolutely superb though - not bad going!

10. Colour Fields
9. TTOALOE
8. This Blue World
7. Honey Sun
6. New York Morning
5. The Blanket of Night
4. My Sad Captains
3. Charge
2. Real Life (Angel)
1. Fly Boy Blue/Lunette

I am delighted and simultaneously a tad saddened that the album is no. 1 at the moment. It deserves it but then I look at the majority of the competition and feel it's a bit like comparing Bieber to Beethoven. Wink I just don't associate the band with chart music...they belong in a different list, somehow.
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PostSubject: Re: The Take-off and Landing of Everything - My Critique   Mon 24 Mar 2014, 22:49

Mine:

1. My Sad Captains
2. Real Life (Angel)
3. This Blue World
4. Fly Boy Blue / Lunette
5. Charge
6. Honey Sun
7. New York Morning
8. The Blanket Of Night
9. Colour Fields
10. The Take Off And Landing Of Everything


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PostSubject: Re: The Take-off and Landing of Everything - My Critique   Mon 24 Mar 2014, 23:19

Ok, here's my favourite running order (at the moment!)
I think the top 3 are pretty much solid but the rest seems to be shifting and changing all the time.
Will be interesting to see how I feel about it in a year's time!  Cool 

1. Real Life (Angel)
2. This Blue World
3. New York Morning
4. Fly Boy Blue/Lunette
5. Charge
6. Honey Sun
7. The Blanket of Night
8. Colourfields
9. The Take Off and Landing of Everything
10. My Sad Captains
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PostSubject: Re: The Take-off and Landing of Everything - My Critique   Wed 26 Mar 2014, 09:30

The songs I like most at the moment are:
(not in topping order)
This Blue World, Charge, New York Morning, Fly Boy Blue/Lunette, The Take of and Landing... Smile
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PostSubject: Re: The Take-off and Landing of Everything - My Critique   Wed 11 Feb 2015, 13:00

Very interesting now to look back at the album nearly a year on.............Now it would be

1. Real Life (Angel)
2. This Blue World
3. Fly Boy Blue/Lunette
4. New York Morning
5. Charge
6. My Sad Captain
7. Honey Sun
8. Colourfields
9. TTOALOE
10. The Blanket Of The Night

So, basically you can see that I'm just one soft hearted Northern monkey !
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PostSubject: Re: The Take-off and Landing of Everything - My Critique   Thu 12 Feb 2015, 13:53

My Bury Vest wrote:
Very interesting now to look back at the album nearly a year on.............Now it would be

1. Real Life (Angel)
2. This Blue World
3. Fly Boy Blue/Lunette
4. New York Morning
5. Charge
6. My Sad Captain
7. Honey Sun
8. Colourfields
9. TTOALOE
10. The Blanket Of The Night

So, basically you can see that I'm just one soft hearted Northern monkey !

the acoustic versions of real life & this blue world i've heard in the last year, are both better than the album versions i thought... charge has gone right up my list but not sure where i would rank them now... i think i'll have to re-listen to the album this weekend!
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allyngibson
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PostSubject: Re: The Take-off and Landing of Everything - My Critique   Thu 12 Feb 2015, 16:42

errant wrote:
the acoustic versions of real life & this blue world i've heard in the last year, are both better than the album versions i thought...  charge has gone right up my list but not sure where i would rank them now...  i think i'll have to re-listen to the album this weekend!

Though I love the acoustic "This Blue World," it feels unfinished to me because it doesn't have the melancholy coda -- and that's my favorite part of the song. Smile

The acoustic "My Sad Captains" may be my favorite song from this era, but I don't like the more instrumented album version quite as much.
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errant
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PostSubject: Re: The Take-off and Landing of Everything - My Critique   Wed 18 Feb 2015, 09:41

allyngibson wrote:


Though I love the acoustic "This Blue World," it feels unfinished to me because it doesn't have the melancholy coda -- and that's my favorite part of the song. Smile


my original beef with the album version of this blue world is that it doesn't seem to take off and meanders, whereas the the acoustic version cuts to the chase, if that makes sense?
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