Elbow – The Take Off And Landing Of Everything

by Rachael Moreland

It’s been a while since Elbow’s late noughties classic, The Seldom Seen Kid, catapulted the band into the public’s radar. You’d be forgiven for feeling like the majority of tracks on The Take Off And Landing Of Everything would sit well next to the band’s previous hits, but with their celestial instrumentals and sorrowful lyrics, it seems Elbow are onto a winning formula which continues to produce quality tracks.

Though we may have heard One Day Like This on one too many inspirational television montages, Elbow still successfully harbour a powerful orchestral sound in their new album. With tracks like Charge and Honey Sun, the band have definitely developed more of an edge, though the album as a whole still sits firmly in the soft-rock genre. The track Fly Boy Blue/Lunette is possibly my favourite track on the album; the band experiment with concise lyrics and edgy squealing electric guitars. The song transitions beautifully into the soft sounds of Lunette, where Garvey’s distant voice echoes into a reflective melody. The particularly strong lyrics of the track deal with personal challenges of song-writing; Garvey croons, “Would the drivel make scribble make sense and then song”, within the startlingly potent verses, making this song an unbelievably powerful track.

The album definitely exuberates optimism with clashing crescendos and hopeful lyrics. The album’s first single released in January, New York Morning, cries out that “Everybody owns the great ideas and it feels like there’s a big one round the corner”. Garvey’s melodic voice is layered as the track continues, creating a euphoric ending to what is arguably the most inspirational song of the album. In an interview with Q Magazine, lead singer Garvey explains how the album is “to do with the fact that there have been [so many] life events. There are five members of the band — people have split up, got together, had children. It never stops, this stuff… and yet I wanted to remain celebratory about that”. I do find that the album resonates with experience; Garvey’s wounded voice remains hopeful.

Fans of Elbow’s previous albums will not be disappointed with this latest offering, and for those new to Elbow’s atmospheric sound, this album’s as good a place as any to start.