Even after more than 20 years with the same roster, elbow shows no signs of letting up. With their latest effort, The Take Off and Landing of Everything, the British quintet has created a hypnotic and intriguing collection of mini-masterpieces.
Rather than writing the songs together, as they have in the past, the band members intentionally worked somewhat separately on this batch. Still, the whole comes off as greater than the sum of its parts. And certain threads still run through the entire piece — unpredictable song structures and off-kilter rhythms topping the list.
While some records are made to be blasted in a car with the windows down or, alternately, tucked into the background of a lively gathering, this one wants a campfire and some deep conversation (if not a spliff and some high-end headphones). Those are the settings in which “Charge,” “Honey Sun,” and “My Sad Captains” will really come to life.
With all of their accolades, elbow could have easily phoned this album in, but they didn’t. Not at all. There’s nothing frivolous or flighty about this work. Just 10 epic tunes from a great band.
This article originally appeared in Elmore.