Album Review: Elbow – Little Fictions

Perhaps best known for their hit single ‘One Day Like This’, alt-rock four-piece Elbow has remained a consistent chart fixture ever since their 2001 debut. Characterized by forlorn guitar and drum medleys, the band has tailored a signature brooding sound, simultaneously explorative, yet loyal to their vision. This, however, appears to have changed with their latest release ‘Little Fictions’, with only Guy Garvey’s signature vocals, anchoring the group to their past.

Headlined by the bombastic orchestra of ‘Magnificent (She Says)’, the album truly represents a departure from the group’s older releases, with its distinctly upbeat nature weaving together a story concerned with the maturing of love. This is perhaps best seen through the album’s title-track, where warm piano chords merge with subtle drum patterns to create a rousing, though thoroughly gentle flurry of sound. Simultaneously, Guy Garvey’s aforementioned lyrical work once again offers a stand out performance, providing cohesion as the group drops nods to their darker past, through tracks such as the slow, haunting ‘Montparnasse’. As such, it seems that ‘Little Fictions’ will subsequently appeal to old fans and newcomers alike. Whilst perhaps lacking a certain radicalness, the album offers a chilled, satisfying listen, from a band embracing pastures new.

[Niall Gray]

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