This is the celebrated journal of Mr. Simon Collison A.K.A Colly

The Seldom Seen Kid

15th March 2008

The fourth album from Elbow is another intensely personal journey through main man Guy Garvey’s experiences, dripping with introspective worry and wonder. Twice divorced, world-weary and used to life in England’s rainy cities, the music of Elbow always reflects the intricacies of life and loves in Northern towns, and its a narrative I buy into with every release.

The Seldom Seen Kid by Elbow

Figure 1: The Seldom Seen Kid

I’ve written about Elbow way too many times, but I can’t help it. I find things in their lyrics, melodies and stories that somehow reflect my own thoughts and feelings, and I take ownership of so many of their songs that I have developed an impassioned loyalty to them that I’ll never lose.

The new album is soaked in all of this. Weather To Fly is melodically stunning and beautiful, The Loneliness Of A Tower Crane Driver  is a rich and thick slice of classic Elbow melancholy, and the gorgeous Some Riot brought a tear to my eye, laced as it is with vitriol, anguish and well-placed curses. The most heart-wrenching of all is Friend Of Ours, a simple poem dedicated to late Mancunian musician Brian Glancy (most likely the “seldom seen kid”). Garvey’s “So - gentle shoulder charge - love you, mate…” gives us yet another lyric so desperately sad that late-night whisky-drinking music fans the world over can find yet more solace in Elbow’s optimism through gloom.

All in all, its time for us Elbow fans to yet again start banging on about how criminally ignored they are. Quite why the whole world loves Coldpaly and not Elbow still confuses me. The Guardian quite rightly mark The Seldom Seen Kid as their CD of the Week. If you find Elbow’s music glum and depressing, you’re missing the point. Anyone who considers Elbow, Radiohead etc in any way miserable needs to spend some time finding the real beauty in this world of ours, for I fear that those folks are taking the whole thing on face value only. Let a little sadness into your lives and see how happy it can make you.

 

Responses

# Sam Rayner responded on 16th March 2008 with...

I’ve been loving The Seldom Seen Kid too, having only discovered Elbow through a mention by Mr Hicks about a year ago.

I agree they’re criminally underrated. They’re coming to Brum on April 10th but I haven’t been able to find anyone who’s heard of them, let alone wants to come and see them.

Oddly enough, Leaders of the Free World seems to get me in the zone for designing without fail, and that takes some doing. The down side is I’ve had to save it purely for when I’m facing a blank Photoshop canvas in case it loses its magic from being over played. Perhaps The Seldom Seen Kid will improve my coding ability…

# Ben Ward responded on 16th March 2008 with...

I’m stateside, so haven’t been able to pick up the album yet. I did see them play a special preview show in London before I went away, though. It was magnificent. The sheer variety of music they produce is what always impresses me. Very much looking forward to hearing the new record.

# Greg responded on 16th March 2008 with...

Elbow is one of the best bands ever and is my favorite of all time !!

# Sam Rayner responded on 16th March 2008 with...

I just noticed, the album art looks a little like the Apple store on Fifth Avenue:

http://images.apple.com/retail/fifthavenue/gallery/images/photo3.jpg

# Guy Roberts responded on 20th March 2008 with...

If melancholic beauty is your thing,  have you listened to Vini Reilly of the Durutti Column ?  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEGvzjmUs8Y&feature=related)

# Girl Afraid responded on 26th March 2008 with...

‘The Bones of You’ and ‘Mirrorball’ are gorgeous, heart-wrenching songs. Sinply beautiful. I’ve been a fan of theirs for years and I will never understand the Coldplay deal. America needs to know more about Elbow (and less about Coldplay).

# Greta responded on 1st April 2008 with...

Have always admired soulful music that has an edgy tune but still not hurting to the ears. Their lyrics are haunting and the vocals are rough yet melodic. Am loving it lots!

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