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Build a Rocket Boys!

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Editors’ Notes

Building on the success of their previous release The Seldom Scene Kid, Elbow return with a soulful, groove-oriented art rock album. The storyline in Build a Rocket Boys! takes a sincere yet unsentimental look at aging, the importance of family and friends, and the value and challenges of following your dreams. The album features inventive, intricate arrangements built on lushly textured layers of guitars, echoing pianos, organ, and gorgeous vocals throughout. They even use choirs to good effect. The drum and bass provide a moody trip-hop feel and an overall warm and inviting atmosphere. While poetic, the lyrics are clear, linear, and sweetly nostalgic, and each song is like a mini opera without the bombast. The centerpiece of the album is the mesmerizing “Lippy Kids,” which examines the joy and angst of the teen years from the perspective of an older man who rhetorically urges the kids to seize the day — “Do they know these days are golden?/Build a rocket, boys!” It may not be a causal listen, but Build a Rocket Boys! isn’t difficult either, and it rewards close attention paid to both the elegant musicianship and the story it tells.

Customer Reviews


Wasnt sure how they could top Seldom Seen Kid, but they've done it. Gorgeous melodies, fantastic lyrics and Craig is a brilliant producer. If Elbow's music does not bring you joy and give you chills up and down your spine from the sheer glory of their music...REAL MUSIC....check your pulse. How I love this band....

Shame on Itunes.

One of the greatest bands this world WILL EVER KNOW, releases a new record and its not on ITUNES homepage. Thats just a travesty.
Regardless, This record is just as amazing as all the rest of the Elbow catalouge.


One Masterpiece After Another

Elbow appear to have found a way to re-invent the 'masterpiece'. Most bands struggle to create one and here Elbow has recorded no less than five. Starting with 2001's 'Asleep In The Back', Elbow showed a songwriting prowess that most indie bands would sell their souls for. The debut masterpiece was followed by 2003's equally great "Cast Of Thousands". An amazing record that showed all doubters that Elbow were not just fly-by-night buskers but , in fact, the real deal. 2005's "Leaders Of The Free World" was a further notch in their proverbial belt as it told the 11 song story of a tired and lovesick Guy Garvey's return to Manchester after 2 years of constant touring. 2008 brought us what we all thought would be Elbow's magnum opus, "The Seldom Seen Kid". A sprawling exercise in deft craftsmanship that finally earned these Mancunian geniuses the coveted 'Mercury Prize'. Upon hearing earlier this year that Elbow had put the finishing touches on their 5th record I was, all at once, excited and skeptical. After 10 years of constant praise and accolades could this band do it again? Would they take their artistic success and digress into a parody of themselves? Would they use this opportunity to "cash-in" on there sudden arena-sized audience? After 4 brilliant albums would we finally get their version of "Pablo Honey" (pop drivel by a band that can obviously do better) or better yet "Be Here Now" (Full of bloat and ego)? Turns out my fears were unfounded for, as luck would have it, Guy Garvey doesn't have a radio-friendly pop-oriented egotistical bone in his body. As a matter of fact this "everyman" is a true songwriter, a Dylan for his generation. This is music that , years from now, will be printed on paper for poetry students to puzzle over. Not that Garvey's wisdom is over our heads in any way but more because it's so humble and sincere that it could apply to almost anything in your life. Take for example the lyrics to "Lippy Kids" as Garvey sees some youngsters on the corner and wonders if they "know those days are golden". He talks as a man who's seen it all and desires to go back when cares were small and you felt you could do anything. "Build A Rocket Boys!" is an absolute gem and an album that will undoubtedly grow to "Seldom Seen Kid" heights over the coming year. Tunes such as "The Birds", "Open Arms", and "With Love" are destined to become live sing-along favorites and hopefully those live favorites will be making their way to these shores very shortly. Beloved in their native England as a 'national treasure' they still have a ways to go in the USA to reach anything resembling that level of adoration but with an amazing ear for songcraft and too humble for pop superstardom, Elbow certainly have paved the way into the heart of every indie music lover. This is an album that will stay with you long after the needle has been lifted from the vinyl (so to speak). It's prose for the "every-man" in all of us and Garvey delights in telling our story. A true masterpiece of an album and just further validation that we are witnessing musical geniuses at the top of their game.


Formed: 1997 in Manchester, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Injecting a wider range of emotions into their music than most of their guitar-based British peers, Elbow have been known to refer to their orchestral, grandiose sound as "prog without the solos." The members of the band -- vocalist Guy Garvey, drummer Richard Jupp, organist Craig Potter, guitarist Mark Potter, and bassist Pete Turner -- met during the early '90s while attending college in Bury. After moving several miles south to Manchester proper, the band went through a couple of developmental...
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