Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Beautiful music

I have completely fallen in love with one of the new music CDs here at the public library - so much so that I have ordered a copy for myself from Amazon (sorry, it's not available here in town). The band is called Elbow, and their current release is The Seldom Seen Kid. You may have heard the title track on World Cafe, with its fabulous guitar riffs.
But the other tracks are just as good, if not better. 'The Bones of You' is a beautiful song about remembered love, and the power of a song to stop you in your tracks with memories. 'Some Riot' examines a friend's alcoholism and inability to avoid the wrong crowd. It ends with the question of whether the friend will stop drinking: "When will my friend start singing again?"
One of the more entertaining selections on the disc is 'The Fix', a story about doping horses, fixing races, and living it up on the Mediterranean. There's a sly, early-60's feel to the music and it just cries out to be the soundtrack of an Oceans Eleven-type movie.
The fact that I even know the lyrics to these songs is a testimony to how good they are, as I usually just pay attention to melody (it was years before I knew what the Kinks were referring to with their hit 'Lola'). The melodies here are ethereal and haunting on some tracks, and a thumping assault on others. Strings and brass flesh out the core Elbow group of guitars, keyboards, bass and drums, and the result is multi-layered and complex.
This disc is absolutely worth listening to, and definitely on my list of top-ten favorite albums.

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