- Released: April 15, 2002
- Label: EMI Europe
Rolling Stone - 5/23/02, p.843.5 out of 5 stars
- "...It's hard to resist Armstrong's reckless lifelong infatuation with mood."
Entertainment Weekly - 4/19/02, p.72
"...[Armstrong's] second non-soundtrack LP is a swirling blend of orchestral themes, electronic beats, vocals...and samples...the modern symphony reimagined as a mix tape..." - Rating: B+
Q - 4/02, p.1084 out of 5 stars
- "...Rich, classy, orchestral backdrops with significant cameos..."
Alternative Press - June 2002, p.718 out of 10
- "...Held together nicely by Armstrong's expertly scored strings and a generally tranquil tone..."
Magnet - 6-7/02, p.76
"...It's clear he's an expert collaborator..."
Mojo (Publisher) - 5/02, p.97
"...Armstrong takes the Massive approach to celebrity guests, utilising them in imaginative ways to avoiod the pitfalls of self-parody..."
NME (Magazine) - 4/27/02, p.296 out of 10
- "Craig Armstrong does orchestral swoosh arrangement...and makes songs without tunes sound exciting..."
- 1.Ruthless Gravity
- 2.Wake up in New York - (featuring Evan Dando)
- 3.Miracle - (featuring Mogwai)
- 5.Finding Beauty
- 6.Waltz - (featuring Antye Greie-Fuchs)
- 8.Hymn 2 - (featuring Photek)
- 9.Snow - (featuring David McAlmont)
- 10.Starless II
- 11.Stay (Faraway, So Close!) - (featuring Bono)
- 13.Sea Song - (featuring Wendy Stubbs)
- 14.Let It Be Love - (featuring Steve Lindsay)
- 15.Choral Ending
Personnel includes: Craig Armstrong (piano, keyboards, programming); Evan Dando, Antye Greie-Fuchs, Catherine Bott, David McAlmont, Steven Lindsay, Bono, Swati Natekar, Wendy Stubbs (vocals); John Parricelli (guitar); Richard Norris, Stephen Hilton, Jake Davies (keyboards, programming); Scott Frazer (bass); Hanif Khan (tabla); Mogwai, Photek.
Personnel: Craig Armstrong (guitar, piano, keyboards, programming); David McAlmont, Evan Dando, Swati Natekar (vocals); John Parricelli (guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Ali MacLeod (guitar); Fiona Hibbert (harp); Julian Leaper, Perry Mason, Warren Zielinski, Mark Berrow, Katherine Shave, Jim McLeod, Michael McMenemy, Simon Fischer, Jonathan Evans Jones, Douglas Mackie, David Woodcock, Maciej Rakowski, Rebecca Hirsch, Alison Kelly , Rachel Allen , Antonia Fuchs, Pauline Lowbury, Iain King, Dermot Crehan, Eddie Roberts , Ben Cruft, Peter G. Hanson, Patrick Kiernan, Boguslaw Kostecki, Rita Manning, Sonia Slany, Cathy Thompson, Jackie Shave (violin); Donald McVay, Tim Grant , Bill Benham, Robert Smissen, Laurence Power, Kate Wilkinson, Gustav Clarkson, Peter Lale, Kate Musker, Bruce White (viola); Andy Findon, Nina Robertson (flute); John Anderson Concert Orchestra (oboe); Andrew Crowley , Paul Archibald (trumpet); Lindsay Shilling (trombone); Paul Gardham, Richard Bissill (horns); Simon Chamberlain (piano); Photek, Richard Norris, Stephen Hilton, Jake Davies (keyboards, programming); Hanif Khan (tabla); David Donaldson (programming); Steven Lindsay (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: David Donaldson; Geoff Foster ; Mark "Spike" Stent; Andy Bradfield; Photek.
Recording information: AIR Studios; Apollo Studios; Cava Sound Workshops; Mayfair Recording Studios; North Studio; Olympic Studios, London, England.
Photographer: Rick Guest.
Unknown Contributor Role: Mogwai.
Arrangers: Stephen Hilton; Craig Armstrong.
While the man has numerous film scores and soundtracks to his credit, AS IF TO NOTHING is only Craig Armstrong's second foray into the world of studio recordings. The follow-up to 1998's THE SPACE BETWEEN US sees Scottish-born Armstrong blending his signature highly emotive piano and string arrangements with soft, atmospheric electronica. The result is a spacious soundscape that sounds like the score to a non-existent film. Assisting Armstrong in this emotional journey are Mogwai, Photek, Evan Dando, King Crimson, and even U2 frontman Bono, who offers a sobering performance on Armstrong's re-working of "Stay (Faraway, So Close)." These various vocal accompaniments do break up the score quality of the album, yet they also enhance its ebb-and-flow ambience. The lead track, "Ruthless Gravity," was used in the 2004 Daniel Craig vehicle LAYER CAKE. Armstrong also uses other musical themes found throughout AS IF TO NOTHING in several of his proper film scores, including LOVE ACTUALLY, RAY, and THE INCREDIBLE HULK.