One of the things that I dislike about becoming older is that I find it very hard to find new music that surprises/amazes/entertains me. Back in the late 60s and early 70s (when I was a young man) it seemed like every week I discovered some great new musician, artists, or song that just blew me away. These days that doesn’t happen very often…..but today I’m sharing one of the rare cases where it still occurs.
The group Elbow, out of Manchester England, has been around for over 20 years with exactly the same personnel but somehow they totally escaped my attention until a couple of weeks ago when I happened upon their new album named The Takeoff and Landing of Everything. From the very first note of the very first song of that album I was surprised, amazed, and entertained.
The Guardian recently featured a great interview with Guy Harvey, Elbow’s lead singer, that I encourage you to read (click on the link below to access the article):
In case you don’t read the article here is an excerpt where the author discusses the album and I have to give him credit, he says most of what I feel about the album/band a lot better than I ever could.
The Take Off…, Elbow’s sixth, has many of the band’s hallmarks: moments of majesty, strings provided by Manchester’s Hallé orchestra; choruses that bury themselves deep after only one or two listens; astonishingly deft character portraits – of an ageing, bitter drunk (Charge), or a girl who was always better than where she came from (Colour Fields); funny lines (“she and I were for a burton tailor-made”); and beautiful, strong human sentiment. Garvey is known as a romantic but he has many sweethearts. Over Elbow’s 24-year career, he’s sung of his love for his home city, Manchester, of the joy of other people’s company, of the romance of drinking and smoking, the wonder of teenagers and the bittersweet pleasure of getting older. His tenderness extends to friends, alive and dead; his family, all generations; old loves and old foes, now reconciled to him through song. Garvey’s emotion transforms the quiet trials of everyday life into a magical thing.
The only thing that I would add is that Guy is an amazing singer. There is something about his tone and phrasing that reminds me of Peter Gabriel (with Genesis and early in his solo career) and that is probably the best compliment I could ever give a singer. So….on to the music. I had to make this a bonus edition of Two’Fer Tuesday because I was unable to pick just two songs to share with you! The three songs I have for you are New York Morning, Fly Boy Blue/Lunette, and My Sad Captains (a live version recorded on BBC Radio 2 last week). Enjoy!
The way the day begins
Decides the shade of everything
But the way it ends depends on if you’re home
For every soul a pillow and a window, please
In the modern Rome where folk are nice to Yoko