Elbow Giants of All Sizes
- Released: October 11, 2019
- Originally Released: 2019
- Label: Verve
Paste (magazine) - "GIANTS finds them taking a softer approach..."
- 1.Dexter & Sinister
- 2.Seven Veils
- 4.The Delayed 3:15
- 5.White Noise White Heat
- 7.My Trouble
- 8.On Deronda Road - (featuring The Plumedores)
Personnel: Guy Garvey (vocals); Mark Potter (guitar); Elizabeth Bosworth, Michelle Marsh, Sarah Ewins, Tiberiu Buta, John Purton, Paulette Bayley, Zoe Colman, Steven Proctor, Rosemary Attree, Philippa Heys, Nicola Clark, Peter Liang, Helena Buckie (violin); Chris Emerson , Julian Mottram, Timothy Pooley, Cameron Campbell (viola); Dale Culliford, Clare Rowe, David Petri, Janey Hallett, Nicholas Trygstad, Simon Turner (cello); Hall‚ Orchestra (strings); Craig Potter (keyboards); Daniel Storer, Yi Xin Salvage (double bass).
Audio Mixer: Craig Potter.
Recording information: 604 Studios, Vancouver; Blueprint Studios, Salford; Clouds Hill Recordings, Hamburg; Kensaltown Studios, London and elbow rooms; Real World Studios, Box; Reevsey's Drum Studio, London; The Dairy Studios, Brixton.
"Loss is a part of a life this long" sings Elbow frontman Guy Garvey on "Dexter & Sinister," the sanguine opening cut on the venerable post-Brit-pop group's eighth full-length effort Giants of All Sizes. The follow-up to 2017's relatively buoyant and unsurprisingly chart-topping Little Fictions, the nine-track set retains the hard-won wisdom of its predecessor, but there's a strong current of unease running through the proceedings. Awash in the damp grays and socio-political malaise of the Brexit era, Garvey and company deftly navigate the brackish waters with an amalgam of empathy and steely acceptance. Filtering the discord through their signature blend of dreamy, prog-tinged Brit-pop and pragmatic, yet erudite working-class poetry, the band looks to glitchy electronics and lurching beats early on in the proceedings before settling into more familiar midtempo and piano-forward balladry. "Dexter & Sinister," with its knotty rhythms, elliptical melody, and arm-hair-raising guest vocal from Jesca Hoop, sets an awfully high bar, but the hymn-like "Seven Veils," which manages to feel both meditative and propulsive, and the slow-burning "Delayed 3:15" are textural marvels that, like most Elbow songs, reward repeated listenings. Garvey remains the group's greatest asset. With his warm flannel croon, devotion to friends and family, and innate ability to find small stories within much larger frameworks -- "Baby, empires crumble all the time/pay it no mind/you just happened to witness mine" -- he and his bandmates have been helping to make the existential pain of life relatable for over two decades. The aptly named Giants of All Sizes draws from every era of the group, and lands somewhere between the widescreen dynamics of their Mercury Prize-short-listed debut, the workmanlike grandiosity of Seldom Seen Kid, and the aching melancholy of The Take Off and Landing of Everything. ~ James Christopher Monger
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