Asleep in the Back [US Bonus Track]

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Klinge
Quietly majestic and invitingly dark, Elbow's debut, Asleep in the Back, comes a decade after the Manchester band's formation, and they play with a confidence and intensity that belies their newcomer status. The five-piece band, centered around Guy Garvey's moaning vocals and Craig Potter's ominous organ chords, is unashamed of its prog-rock roots. The band specializes in mid-tempo creations that gather tension and power, sometimes leading to a grand release but just as often remaining deliciously foreboding. Garvey's tense but soaring voice has a bit of Jeff Buckley's intimate grandeur, a bit of Thom Yorke's sense of urgency, and a bit of Bono's inclination toward ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Klinge
Quietly majestic and invitingly dark, Elbow's debut, Asleep in the Back, comes a decade after the Manchester band's formation, and they play with a confidence and intensity that belies their newcomer status. The five-piece band, centered around Guy Garvey's moaning vocals and Craig Potter's ominous organ chords, is unashamed of its prog-rock roots. The band specializes in mid-tempo creations that gather tension and power, sometimes leading to a grand release but just as often remaining deliciously foreboding. Garvey's tense but soaring voice has a bit of Jeff Buckley's intimate grandeur, a bit of Thom Yorke's sense of urgency, and a bit of Bono's inclination toward drama, and fans of pre-Kid A Radiohead will certainly find songs such as the beautiful, stately "Powder Blue" appealing. “Newborn” begins with the lyrics "I'll be the corpse in your bathtub," and Garvey, characteristically, turns a macabre attention-grabber into a deeply felt love song. "Bitten by the Tailfly" accomplishes a similar feat: Atop an insistent tribal drum beat, Garvey whispers and chants until interrupted by bursts of buzzing electric guitars and is then swallowed by dissonant layers of orchestration. It's exciting stuff. In Britain, where the album came out in mid-2001, Elbow has been showered with accolades, including a Mercury Prize nomination. With their contemporaries Radiohead more interested in twiddling knobs than in creating conventional songs, Elbow are ready to pick up the fallen neo-prog-rock mantle.
All Music Guide - Andy Kellman
Elbow fiddles with a battery of widescreen dynamics and slight prog rock tendencies, delivering an epic debut of Manchester miserablism that will likely gain comparisons to fellow Mancunian band Doves (rightfully) and Coldplay (wrongfully). Like Doves, Elbow has enough supple shadings and tasteful textures to hold interest without vocals. However, where you have dance producers at the core of Doves, you have a highly emotional songwriter at the core of Elbow. Despite constantly dipping into an overflowing well of sonic tricks (the non-wank variety), each of Guy Garvey's songs would be able to survive with a lone acoustic providing accompaniment. Judging from Garvey's rough-hewn voice, he could be forgiven for sinking into a misery-addled torpor; thankfully, that's not the case -- given enough instrumental prodding from his cohorts, Garvey's voice can soar and seethe with the best of them. Tally these qualities and you have a record that glides above the host of bands who prattle aimlessly about their pin cushion-frail souls. After all, "Asleep in the Back" is more about getting through and sustaining than it is flat-out moping or asking for a hug. The tempos might not ever exceed mid-level, and half of the songs might exceed five minutes, but the record is anything but a difficult listen or tough to wade through. When the acoustic strumming, piano twinkles, liquid basslines, and muted horns are this engaging and well arranged, it's difficult to wring yourself from the web. If you can only spare eight minutes to test drive the record, go straight to "Newborn," the sweeping centerpiece with enough catharsis and heavenly Talk Talk-informed organ that you'd swear it came from the second side of Catherine Wheel's Adam and Eve. Stacked against other debuts out of Manchester, theirs is no disgrace. [A U.S. version includes the bonus track "Asleep in the Back."]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/22/2002
  • Label: V2 North America
  • UPC: 638812711625
  • Catalog Number: 27116

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Any Day Now (6:17)
  2. 2 Red (5:11)
  3. 3 Little Beast (4:15)
  4. 4 Powder Blue (4:31)
  5. 5 Bitten by the Tailfly (6:16)
  6. 6 Asleep in the Back (3:47)
  7. 7 Newborn (7:35)
  8. 8 Don't Mix Your Drinks (3:16)
  9. 9 Presuming Ed (Rest Easy) (5:26)
  10. 10 Coming Second (4:56)
  11. 11 Can't Stop (4:36)
  12. 12 Scattered Black and Whites (5:30)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Elbow Primary Artist
Jonathan Snowden Flute, Alto Flute
Ben Hillier Percussion, Background Vocals
Ian Burdge Cello
Guy Garvey Synthesizer, Acoustic Guitar, Harmonica, Percussion, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals, Analogue Synthesizer, Glass
Dominic Kelly Cor anglais
Craig Potter Organ, Percussion, Piano, Keyboards, Background Vocals, Analogue Synthesizer, Glass
Mark Potter Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Background Vocals
Pete Turner Bass Guitar, Group Member
Richard Jupp Group Member
Matthew Gunner French Horn
Bob Sastri French Horn, Brass
Stuart King Clarinet, Bass Clarinet
Pete Turner Background Vocals, Analogue Synthesizer, Glass
Elbow Choir Vocals
Nick Coen Brass
Technical Credits
Steve Osborne Producer
Danton Supple Engineer
Danny Evans Producer, Engineer, Percussion Programming
Ben Hillier Producer, Engineer
Bunt Stafford-Clark Mastering
Ian Burdge Musical Director, Woodwind Arrangement
Guy Garvey Lyricist
Elbow Producer, Engineer
Steve Lloyd Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Excellent.

    I came across this record when it first came out and instantly felt it was worth the money plus some. Its daunting melodies and brooding vocals makes it a buy you can definately live with.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Haunting

    This is a slow burning collection of songs which, given time, will lodge themselves in your mind.Aching vocals and insistent beats and melodies combine perfectly to produce an album to listen to from start to finish.If you have to listen to one track only, listen to 'Powder Blue'.Lazy comparisons to Coldplay and Doves abound, but this is something different....

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Good Album

    I purchased this album several months ago in the UK and instantly fell in love. It ranges from gritty post-rock to beautifully orchestrated harmonies. The lyrics are belted out with a great deal of emotion and power. A good album to listen to all in one go.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews