Seldom Seen Kid

The Seldom Seen Kid

5.0 3
by Elbow
     
 

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In a world where even the generally mediocre likes of Snow Patrol can have honest to goodness mainstream pop success, it seems peculiar that Elbow have never broken through beyond a devoted cult following. (Admittedly, the fact that their new labels, Polygram's alt rock imprint Fiction Records in the U.K. and Geffen

Overview

In a world where even the generally mediocre likes of Snow Patrol can have honest to goodness mainstream pop success, it seems peculiar that Elbow have never broken through beyond a devoted cult following. (Admittedly, the fact that their new labels, Polygram's alt rock imprint Fiction Records in the U.K. and Geffen in the U.S., are their fourth and fifth, respectively, after stints on Island, EMI, and V2, may have a lot to do with their lack of mainstream attention.) Exploring the fruitful middle ground between early Radiohead's mopey art rock and Coldplay's radio-friendly dumbing down of the same, Elbow makes records built on a balance of things not often found together anymore: strange musical textures alongside immediately accessible pop song choruses, or unexpected left turns in song structure paired with frontman Guy Garvey's warm, piercing vocals. It's no surprise that Elbow are regularly compared to old-school prog rockers like Pink Floyd and Electric Light Orchestra: they're proof that records can be cool and commercial at the same time, an idea that's not particularly hip in this day and age. Yet a song like "Grounds for Divorce," which puts a sharp, wryly funny Garvey lyric against a clanging, Tom Waits-like arrangement and throws on one of the album's catchiest tunes for good measure, or "Some Riot," which filters a yearning, lovely melody for guitar and piano through so many layers of effects and processing that it can be hard to tell what the original instruments sounded like, isn't afraid to display its accessibility even on its most experimental numbers. At the album's best, including the spacious, atmospheric balladry of the opening "Starlings" (imagine if Sigur Rós could write a pop song as emotionally direct as Keane's "Everybody's Changing") and the potential radio breakthroughs of the soaring, semi-orchestral epic "One Day Like This" (complete with choral climax!) and the wistful "Weather to Fly," The Seldom Seen Kid is Elbow's most self-assured and enjoyable album so far. [The U.K. version added "We're Away" as a bonus track.]

Product Details

Release Date:
04/22/2008
Label:
Geffen Records
UPC:
0602517642522
catalogNumber:
001106302
Rank:
100364

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Elbow   Primary Artist
Prabjote Osahn   Violin,Background Vocals
Tim Barber   Trumpet
Ian Burdge   Cello,Background Vocals
Richard Hawley   Guitar,Vocals,Guest Appearance
Guy Garvey   Vocals,Group Member
Craig Potter   Trumpet,Keyboards,Group Member
Mark Potter   Guitar,Group Member
Pete Turner   Bass,Group Member
Richard Jupp   Drums,Group Member
Stella Page   Violin,Viola,Background Vocals
Elbow Choir   Background Vocals
Angela Thwaite   Background Vocals
Louise Turner   Background Vocals
Sheona White   E Flat Horn
Matthew Ball   Trombone

Technical Credits

George Gershwin   Composer
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Danny Evans   Engineer
Richard Hawley   Composer
Guy Garvey   Composer,String Arrangements,Brass Arrangment
Elbow   Composer
Craig Potter   Engineer
Dorothy Heyward   Composer
Oliver East   Illustrations
Danny McTague   Engineer

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The Seldom Seen Kid 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Britpop_Lover More than 1 year ago
If you've never heard Elbow- and, let's face it, most people haven't, especially in America- it's a bit hard to describe their sound. It changes vastly from song to song, and yet is still instantly recognizable. And their music had so many layers; every time you listen to a song you'll pick up something else, whether it be Gus Garvey's lush vocals or the haunting melodies and counter-melodies or the beautiful lyrics. Interestingly, Elbow tend to gravitate towards 3/4 rhythms, which gives several songs a waltz-like lilt. I try to introduce everyone I know to Elbow because they're so tragically under-appreciated.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago