Saturday, March 26, 2011
Elbow - Build a Rocket Boys review
I'm really sorry but I think it's me, not you.
Let me tell you a story. A long (long) time ago I went on a blind date with this girl. Everything looked great on paper. She was a lefty lawyer who was passionate about the environment and I just happened to be a lefty advocate who was passionate about the environment. We emailed a few times and it all looked very promising. Unfortunately, when we met for coffee, even though we had so much in common there was not one single spark of attraction. This is how I feel about you, every one of your albums feels like I'm re-living that blind date.
How so? Well, on paper you are my type of band. Emotive indie pop with Peter Gabriel-esque flourishes and heart on sleeve lyrics. If that's not my cup of tea, I don't know what is. But when I listen to you, it's much like there is a weird distance or absence between us, that even though I can hear what I should be liking there is this lack of engagement. There is no spark.
Now, this might seem mean but my favourite song of yours is Grounds for Divorce and even though I like that song, it almost feels incomplete to me. Great hook, great bluesy grind but the song never kicks into high gear to make it transcendent. It get's close but it never quite gets there. Build a Rocket Boys is the same for me as it traverses through a slightly nostalgic trial of growing up and touches on a number musical tropes that I adore. It really does stray into some beautiful musical territory but again I find myself going, meh.
Again, I think this is a function of chemistry. I can hear it, taste it and want to love it but it just doesn't have the emotional connect to make it work between us. I hope one day we can get together and have fun because I know a couple of people who adore you.
As I said, I think this time it's a case of 'it's not you, it's me'. And that's ok because there's enough love to go around and lot's of people love you.
I'm sorry about this. I hope we can be friends and maybe hook up in the future.