Elbow

The Seldom Seen Kid

[image-4]Published May 29, 2008.
Elbow
The Seldom Seen Kid
(Polydor)
On their fourth album, the Manchester quintet delves so deeply into silky crescendos and choral echoes, it softens you up for the rock. Elbow tends to maximize a dynamic range of a recording so that the crashing break in "The Bones of You" is as startling as it is welcome. The lyrics are denser than in your usual love fare. "We kissed like we invented it" from "Mirrorball" is just one line that romantics, or stalkers, may wish to file away. The latter half contains songs of despair, corruption and hope, so elaborately arranged you may sense a sudden jump in IQ. Elbow comes across as Coldplay's mysterious, moody cousin.
---Doug Taylor