Artist – Album: Elbow – Asleep in the Back
Released: 7th May 2001
Sounds Like: We’ve done these guys before
So, yesterday was the first time I reviewed an album by the Beatles, and yet today sees me on my third (third!) record by Elbow. No, I am not Guy Garvey in disguise and nor am I their biggest fan. Honest! It really is just the way the blog has fallen into place. I’m totally open to different suggestions of artists that aren’t, you know, Elbow or Bob Dylan though... Please feel free to bang a comment in below telling me who I should do next. Comment on anything actually, nobody ever comments...
My inferiority complex aside, Elbow aren’t exactly bad are they? On this, their debut, they indicated themselves worthy of taking up the Manchester indie mantle alongside Doves, following the deterioration of Oasis and the dissolution of the Stone Roses. Without ever producing a stone cold anthem along the lines of ‘One Day Like This’ on this album, they delivered plenty of lighter-waving ballads in the gorgeous likes of ‘Asleep in the Back’, ‘Powder Blue’ and ‘Scattered Black and Whites’, whilst also being experimental and electronically savvy enough to keep things interesting.
The unanimous verdict is that ‘New Born’ is the highlight; a timeless masterpiece of gentle loveliness that contains the disarming opening gambit “I’ll be the corpse in your bathtub” and is actually about growing old together despite the title. I remember buying Q Magazine’s special 1001 tracks to hear before you die in 2003 and that listed the track at #319, ahead of such classics as Little Richards’ ‘Tutti Frutti’, Jeff Buckley’s ‘Hallelujah’ and The Band’s ‘Weight’. (It also asked them if they think they’d ever better it, an intriguing thing to ask a band one album in).
The rest of the album doesn’t quite hit those heights, but it’s still a worthy debut from an underrated band (apart from by me, apparently).
Albumaday... rating: 7/10
1. Any Day Now – 6:17
2. Red – 5:11
3. Little Beast – 4:15
4. Powder Blue – 4:31
5. Bitten by the Tailfly – 6:16
6. Asleep in the Back – 3:47
7. Newborn – 7:36
8. Don’t Mix Your Drinks – 3:16
9. Presuming Ed (Rest Easy) – 5:26
10. Coming Second – 4:56
11. Can’t Stop – 4:36
12. Scattered Black and Whites – 5:30
Listen to ‘Newborn’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syQOaO9s2Tw
Also released on the 7th May:
2001: The Moldy Peaches – The Moldy Peaches