Build a Rocket Boys!

The pressure of following up a Mercury Music Prize winning album would be too much for some, but not, it seems, for alternative rockers Elbow.

With Build a Rocket Boys! the band from Bury treat us to a nostalgic journey through the emotional landscape of singer Guy Garvey’s childhood - the hopes, follies and expectations - in fifty introspective minutes of tenderly uplifting melodies and deceptively subtle arrangements.

The title comes from a line in song Lippy Kids in which, over methodical piano chords and background whistles, Garvey watches the ‘lippy kids on the corner’ reflecting that he himself ‘never perfected the simian stroll’ before declaring: ‘Do they know those days are golden? Build a rocket boys!’

The band mixes light and shade, both emotionally and in the texture of the music. Neat Little Rows and Open Arms suit a lighter-wielding stadium vibe and High Ideals features ornate horns and strings, but there’s also the hilariously titled Jesus is a Rochdale Girl and The Night Will Always Win, where a single note on the electric piano is played out over a keyboard drone.

Though not exactly radio-friendly music, the band’s growing legions of fans certainly won’t be disappointed with this.

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