Design By Humans
Published On: Mon, Apr 14th, 2014

Elbow: The Take Off and Landing of Everything

The Take Off and Landing of Everything
(Concord Records)

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Elbow frontman Guy Garvey is like a cool drunk uncle, chatty and poetic, often sounding optimistic even when he lets a good profanity fly. The Take Off and Landing of Everything is the English band’s sixth studio LP, and this offering firmly confirms Elbow’s status as mainstays of indie rock.

Beauty and heartbreak go together so charmingly on this record, from personal relationships to romantic ones. “Charge” is filled with the edgy paranoia of growing older and watching one’s local become filled with new, naïve drinkers (“glory be, these fuckers are ignoring me”), while “My Sad Captains” captures the tragedy of becoming more involved in drinking than the group of friends the act is done with (“a bitter little Eucharist, oh my soul”).

“Fly Boy Blue/Lunette” is an intriguing fusion of two songs, one using the dramatic conversion of electric guitar and horns to capture a night out while the other is as delicate as settling into bed, appreciating the comfort of home after time on the town. “Real Life (Angel),” however, encourages a lover to move on to someone more worthy.

However, my favorite song arises from immense bias. “New York Morning” was written by Garvey after an early morning observing the city’s bustle at Moonstruck Diner. This is the ultimate romance of the album, for people and society no matter the agony of growing older or being alone. Though these lyrics are specific to New York, they can stir inspiration for anyone and show that Elbow is still as sharp as ever and full of hope for what lies ahead: “Oh my God, New York can talk/Somewhere in all that talk is all the answers/Everybody owns the great ideas/And it feels like there’s a big one round the corner.”

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Elbow: The Take Off and Landing of Everything