The Take Off and Landing of Everything
Despite taking no real risks on their new album, Elbow know their sound, and The Take Off and Landing of Everything is no letdown.
Although many bands have a ‘signature sound,’ they tend to reach a point when it’s time for something new. Bombay Bicycle Club, for instance, produce a new sound on almost every album, keeping things fresh and always surprising their listeners.
Despite a few stand-out heavy hits such as Grounds for Divorce, however, Elbow have consistently drawn upon lead singer Guy Garvey’s powerful, deep voice to produce a plethora of slow, moody anthems. Yet, somehow, the sound doesn’t get old.
This Blue World and Charge pro- vide an opening that is perhaps a bit too slow, though a surprise addition of melody at the end of the former and dramatically bitter lyrics in the latter demonstrate Elbow’s continuous quality artistry.
And if these surprises fail to ex- cite, Fly Boy Blue / Lunette will wake you right up. Possibly the only track that endeavours to try something new, it introduces intense instrumental riffs and timidly over-synthesised vocals… that don’t quite work.
Experimentation over, the album quickly returns to well-charted territory, and does so with great success. New York Morning and title track The Take Off and Landing of Everything channel the band’s biggest hit One Day Like This, creating sing-in-the-shower masterpieces with never-ending choruses and simple yet effective melodies that are sure to get stuck in your head (in a good way).
Honey Sun and Colour Fields add to the subtly uplifting feel of the album with dark openings giving way to inspiring major lifts. Though still channeling their signature anthemic style, these tracks cut back on the orchestral background to provide a thinner texture and calmer poignancy. Do your best not to pay too much attention to the lyrics though, as their pseudo-profundity slightly ruins the effect.
The Take Off and Landing of Everything traces all the way back to Elbow’s debut album in 2001, Asleep in the Back, creating the perfect soundtrack for that sitting-half-asleep-in-the-backseat-during-a-long-car-journey feeling.
Focusing on the power of one voice, Elbow yet again demonstrate their ability to stir our emotions.