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On their tenth album, Elbow entertain from start to finish. | Photo: Press
On their tenth album, Elbow entertain from start to finish. | Photo: Press
Martin Hošna -

Elbow Travel in Time Far Away from Guitar Rock

On their tenth record, Britain's Elbow have moved furthest away from their guitar rock origins. The album Audio Vertigo is driven by playful orchestrations, humorous and nostalgic verses about tragic youth and sombre dance rhythms.

Elbow have come a long way since their post-punk beginnings – through indie pop and post-rock they got to their current experimental sound, which only proves that the band has long since known no musical boundaries.

Unpredictably and to some extent very epically, Elbow show their muscles right in the opening track "Things I've Been Telling Myself For Years". A swinging rhythm with a darkened bass line and groovy dirty guitar rhythms make the track Elbow's most badass rock song. The biggest hit "Lovers' Leap" entertains with a great samba sound. The '70s dance aesthetic comes forward with the phrasing style of baritone leader Guy Garvey, whose vocal performance is literally magnetic.

Elements of funk and archaic disco screech energetically in the keyboard lines of "Balu", while lounge jazz pleasantly lulls us in "Poker Face", a song that seems to have fallen out of the late Beatles era. Elbow rage angrily in post-punk style on the triumphant "Good Blood Mexico City", only to say goodbye on the bittersweet and grandiose finale "From The River".

What can musicians appreciate about the album?

Frontman Guy Garvey dreams and entertains with his singing, which rings with poetry and a certain surreality. The frustration and black humour that prevail in the lyrics deal with human relationships whose complexities are presented in a concise and mesmerizing musical message. Garvey's excellent bandmates successfully contribute to the colourful outcome. His lyricism is enhanced by lush orchestrations, quirky instrumentation and the rock energy which Elbow plays emulates in every bar.

Elbow – Audio Vertigo

Elbow – Audio Vertigo

Universal Music, 00:47:10

indie rock/prog/post rock

75 %

Tagy Elbow album review

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Martin Hošna