The Take Off And Landing Of Everything Review

artist: Elbow date: 03/18/2014 category: compact discs
Elbow: The Take Off And Landing Of Everything
Released: Mar 10, 2014
Genre: Alternative Rock, Indie Rock
Label: Fiction, Concord
Number Of Tracks: 10
The album is essentially a last minute breakup album reflecting Guy Garvey's recent experiences, but still has some positive moments.
 Sound: 7
 Lyrics: 8
 Overall Impression: 7
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overall: 7.3
The Take Off And Landing Of Everything Featured review by: UG Team, on march 18, 2014
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Elbow formed in 1997, and has been very successful in the UK for the entirety of their career, though they have had much more limited success in the United States. Their 2012 track, "First Steps," was used as the "theme" music for the Olympics, which helped them gain the international attention they needed. "The Take Off and Landing of Everything" is the band's sixth studio album, and is a slight departure from the band's previous releases. The album includes 10 tracks with a total runtime of just a few minutes under an hour. The first single from the album was "New York Morning," which was released in January 2014. At the last minute before the album was released, Guy Garvey went back and revised lyrics on several of the songs after Guy and his longtime girlfriend split. 

The album opens with the track "This Blue World," which utilizes an organ and has a very melancholy feel to it, though this feeling runs through a large part of the album. "Charge" has the same "organ," chasing the vocal melody through most of the track. "Fly Boy Blue/Lynette" is a really surreal track, and utilizes some interesting vocal chorus effects and a neat little guitar riff that recurs through much of the track. "New York Morning," which is also the single from the album, has a unique vibe going on with it that reminds me a little bit of "Kid A"-era Radiohead, but only vaguely. "Real Life (Angel)" is (you guessed it!) another melancholy track, but the musicianship and crafting of the track is great, with the keyboards creating a beautiful canvas to lay the vocals over. "Honey Sun" has an "old spiritual" feel for much of the track, and some interesting guitar going on as well. "My Sad Captains" had me tapping my foot even as it slowly depressed me, as much of this album has a tendency to do. There is something especially subdued about "My Sad Captains." The track "Colour Fields" is one of the least melancholy tracks on the album, which means it is actually still very melancholy. The melody on the track is one of the most infectious, as well. The title track, "The Take Off and Landing of Everything" seems to capture the moment when melancholy may potentially turn back into optimism, and is definitely one of my favorite tracks from the album. The album closes out with the track "The Blanket of Night," which is mostly carried by an acoustic bass/guitar, but with a lot of the silence filled in by keyboards. This is a seriously dark track. After listening to the entire album, I would have to say it is a journey that the band successfully brings you on with them - so I hope you're ready for it. // 7

Lyrics: In contrast to how previous albums by Elbow were recorded, on this album Richard Jupp, drummer, went into the studio and recorded several drum patterns and then Guy Garvey, vocals and guitar, went into the studio and built a guitar line and vocals based around the drum parts, with the rest of the band coming in for their contributions after this. The end result is fairly interesting and Guy's performance is pretty much immaculate. As a sample of the lyrics from the album, here are some lyrics from the single, "New York Morning": "The first to put a simple truth in words/ binds the world in a feeling all familiar/ cause everybody owns the great ideas/ and it feels like there's a big one round the corner/ antenna up and out into new York/ somewhere in all that talk is all the answers/ and oh, my giddy aunt, New York can talk/ Every bone of rivet steel/ each corner stone and angle/ jenga jut and rusted water tower/ pillar post and sign/ every painted line and battered ladder building in this town/ sings a life of proud endeavor and the best that man can be." // 8

Overall Impression: The album is mostly a melancholy work from start to finish, and this can be tiring if you aren't in just the exact right mood to listen to it, but it really hits the spot when you are in the right mood for it. My favorite tracks would absolutely be "Fly Boy Blue/Lynette," "The Take Off and Landing of Everything" and "Honey Sun." Essentially what Guy Garvey has done on this album is potentially writing one of the best break up albums of all time, capturing the melancholy feeling that is still somewhere between heartbreak and moving on. I enjoyed this album but I look forward to possible future releases that are a little less sad. // 7

- Brandon East (c) 2014

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