Friday, June 06, 2014

FDF Volume 3 Issue 339 - Elbow - Asleep in the Back

Album – Asleep In The Back
Artist - Elbow
Key Players – Richard Jupp – drums, percussion and backing vocals. Craig Potter – piano, organ, backing vocals, synth, percussion, keyboards. Mark Potter- Acoustic and Electric guitars, backing vocals. Pete Turner – bass, synth, backing vocals. Guy Garvey – lead and backing vocals, guitars, percussion, synth, harmonica.

Produced By – Elbow, Danny Evans,Steve Osborne, Ben Hollier

Release Date – January 22, 2002

Overview – This is the debut album from the Ramsbottom,Bury, England band “Elbow”. Performing as the band Elbow since 1997 this was a record that was a few years in the making, but it was a critical success. The band had initially recorded a full length for another label, but the label dropped then before it was released. Elbow had the last laugh when this record came out. It was a Mercury Prize finalist, the band was nominated for a BRIT award and it would contain four radio singles. The band have released six albums and wrote the theme song for the BBC coverage of 2012 London Olympics, as well as having a song of theirs used in the trailer for the Call of Duty video game “Black Ops: 2”

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – The 12 song, just over 60 minutes in length album begins with the track
"Any Day Now". The dark feel has Craig's keyboards working along Jupp's drum and Turner slinging a little bass. When Garvey starts to sign he is hushed, but you can tell he has a strong voice. One of the band's strong suits is with the layers of backing vocals. When you have four more people along it gets to be full, and pretty. The haunting repeat of the lines as Garvey expands lyrically over the top compliments the keyboard flourishes and light drumming. Jupp gets “Red” underway but its Craig's keyboards once more that set the tone. This track has a lot of the strings to fill it out and that might take away from some of the core players, but when you sit back and listen you realize its a strong balance. “Little Beast” has the first bigger role from Mark's guitar. He has the intro here and the percussion instruments come in as Garvey starts to sing its again in hushed, yet somehow powerful as well. It stays pretty much a piano/guitar heavily influenced track. Piano is again strong on "Powder Blue". Mark has light chords spread out and the band harmonizes as Garvey finds his falsetto more often than not. Garvey soars vocally later with saxophone and guitars aiding his way along. “Bitten By The Tailfly” begins with Jupp rolling across his drum kit. Garvey almost speaks the lyrics this time as the song gets underway and the band adds in vocally as well as musically, just a bit slowly. The drums have a tribal rumble and then Mark strikes hard and it takes you off guard before it returns to its initial feel. It really gets going later and becomes on of the stand out tracks. Piano opens up the title track “Asleep In The Back”, that then gets a bit of keyboards to come along. A pretty acoustic track called
 "Newborn"  is another stand out. If you are looking for that “elbow” sound this is one you need to look at. The end alone...I rest my case. “Don't Mix Your Drinks” and “Presuming Ed (Rest Easy)” are both similar in their calm and classy methods. Acoustic Guitars and drums are a bit more up front on “Coming Second”. The lyrics are buzzy and a bit compressed not really letting Garvey shine, but it is a change for the band some. “Can't Stop” is another track on the mellow side with no real bust out moments, so it seems, until Garvey hits operatic notes. The album concludes with the track “Scattered Black and Whites” that blends the guitar and piano wonderfully.

Where are they now? - The band is still active both in the studio and as a live band. They released the stunning “The Take Off And Landing Of Everything” in the spring of 2014

FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting Off? - After I went to see the band live in support of the most recent release I had to go back to the other albums. It had been the longest since I listened to them. They should be far bigger than they are here in the States. Catch them now so you can be on “the early train” albeit it 13 years later. Come on board, we have room.

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Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.


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