Elbow are masters of that melancholy elegance I like so much (let’s just go with “melagance” from now on. See also: Familiars, by The Antlers). Six studio albums deep and stars at home in Britain (while virtually unknown in the U.S.), I’ve read that some people don’t think Elbow are stretching out or challenging themselves enough on this record, but you and I know those people are obviously jaded and dead inside. I can’t find fault with Guy Garvey’s warm, husky voice, always full of heartbreak, weariness, knowing, wry wit and passion. Nor with the dramatic and wide-ranging music; whether burning quietly, stripped to Radiohead-esque minimalism where tension lurks below the surface, flirting with prog—”Fly Boy Blue/Lunette” practically turns into “21st Century Schizoid Man” more than once—or majestic and heavily orchestrated, bursting skyward and soaring, Elbow pack it with alluring rhythms, aching beauty, sadness and hope. What’s not to love?

Buy it here.

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