Elbow – Build A Rocket Boys!

Album Review by Jonathan Butcher | 24 Feb 2011
Album title: Build a Rocket Boys!
Artist: Elbow
Label: Fiction/Polydor
Release date: 7 Mar

There is a poignancy to every track of Build A Rocket Boys, and a sparseness that stands in contrast to 2008's The Seldom Seen Kid. As with all of Elbow's work, the music is more about connecting with emotions than the listener's dancing limbs, and this most recent effort is a tapestry of nostalgia. Guy Garvey's heartstring-tugging lyrics are the album's most prominent and accomplished element, and the minimalist instrumentation forms a fitting backdrop to his reminiscences.

Tracks like Jesus Is A Rochdale Girl, Dear Friends, and the startling reprise of The Birds overflow with teary-eyed warmth, drifting nigh on sadness but never quite touching it. It is, in fact, a softly positive album that uses simplicity as its strength, and will be enjoyed by anyone who has ever felt the moving subtlety of their slow-burning back catalogue. Music to get lost inside: for headphones rather than booming speakers. [Jonathan Butcher]

Playing SECC, Glasgow on 15 Mar