Verdict: 3 / 5
The band curiously named Elbow has been running since 1997, and has released this, their 6th album recently. This is very valuable information, because if you have a yearning for 90’s style alternative pop/rock, you would find it only with great difficulty, unless of course you have an Elbow album, which if nothing else, has held true to their style in the very quick changing world of music.
Elbow comes from the same generation of Britpop groups such as Blur, Oasis and so on. Heavy on the echoe-y misty background sounds and the electronically induced echoes on the vocals that perhaps make whatever the main singer is talking about sound more “deep.” It’s not an inherently bad technique, but it does make the song ultimately more about a mood rather than the lyrics, as the lyrics themselves are much harder to pick up properly. The Take Off and Landing of Everything definitely does get that mood across, which is a point in its favour, but seeing as the mood itself seems to be nostalgia/melancholy on every track, it can get a little bit tedious to listen to the whole album, even if some individual tracks are very fine pieces of work.
The main concerns of this band seem to be about getting older, facing new problems and still having the same old ones dragging behind you even when they really should be gone by now. These are emotions many of us can identify with, and perhaps long time Elbow fans most of all. The majority of the pieces are also musically very stirring and emotional. My problem remains however though, that after listening to about 4 or 5 in a row, all I could think was “Yes, I get it, you don’t need to tell me again.” Maybe I just wasn’t in a sympathetic enough mood, and if I were to approach this album again at a different stage I would appreciate it more, but as it is, it goes for one idea that it does very well, and really hammers that idea home. If you like that, this album is perfect for you. If not, listen to a couple singles and move on.