Review of "Build a rocket boys" from elbow

(The lowercase e is mandatory.) Inspired by their nomination for the Mercury awards I thought I'd write the review of "Build a rocket boys" that's been rolling around in my head for a while now. Their previous album, Seldom Seen Kid, is currently my favourite album of all time, so this one had to do quite well to overtake that. It doesn't. However I'm glad I've got it.

This one is to SSK as Ommadawn is to Tubular Bells. (At one point I had an idea that I'd write series of semi-serious, semi-not-serious-hoping-to-be-funny reviews of albums, making sure in each one that I'd compare it to ELO's Mr Blue Sky. This idea came from the bit in the Brady Bunch film where Mr Brady designs a series of commercial buildings, all incorporating that crazy paving exterior wall and other features from his own home. If I write any more reviews they may contain references to Tubular Bells. Or not.) So it's not so commercially appealing. There are a number of parallels to the previous one - the title comes from a line from one of the tracks released as a single. (Can't be bothered to work out if it was the first one in each case.) Both albums have a track released which is like the sour sweet in the packet - Grounds for Divorce, Neat Little Rows. There are probably others. (Two is still a number.)

The first track is a long one and the second half sounds like a Peter Gabriel track. Which is a good thing. All through it though I'm wishing they'd thrown their integrity to the winds and included a singalong festival crowd pleasing song like "One Day Like This". Eventually something like that does come with "Open Arms".

As for the rest of the tracks I recommend you read the review of someone who does it for a living. Alex Petridis in the Guardian sums it up well:
"It may be that people drawn in by One Day Like This hung around because they found music that, while less straightforward, was warm and generous and inventive. If so, they'll find more of it here."


paulmerrill said…
I saw elbow live around 2005. Excellent show.

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