Tag Archives: art rock

When Giants Roamed the Earth: Elbow

GIANTS OF ALL SIZES. Musical perfection.

When Elbow writes a pop song, they do it right. And, not merely right, but “just right.” Every note, every lyric, every silence, every beat matters.

When Elbow produces an album, the band gets everything not merely perfect, but “just perfect.”

While I have enjoyed every album and EP the band has released, the new album, GIANTS OF ALL SIZES is the band’s best since 2011’s BUILD A ROCKET BOYS.

Indeed, anything and everything you want from an Elbow album is here: the achingly clever lyrics; the smooth and relentless hooks; and the never compromised and earnest vocals. Yet, there’s more with GIANTS OF ALL SIZES: female choruses; weird proggy keyboards; and an Abbey Road-style flow.

At this point, I love every song, but I especially love “Empires”–with it Thomas Dolby-esque (think, “One of Our Submarines”) thought-provoking lyrics–and “On Deronda Road”–with its Steve Howe guitar opening and “Fragile”-esque vocals.

Though I would never label GIANTS OF ALL SIZES a prog album, I’d be utterly foolish not to categorize it as “art rock” at its finest and best. Whatever genre one wants to assign it, we can and should be able to agree on at least one absolute: GIANTS OF ALL SIZES is a thing of sheer excellence.

Birzer Guide to Art Rock and Pop

Spirit of Cecilia Books has begun a series of ebooks–Cecilia’s Notations–on the history of modern music (mostly rock, pop, and jazz).

Other volumes in the series, forthcoming: on Talk Talk, Big Big Train, Rush, Glass Hammer, Tears for Fears, and Kate Bush.

To purchase the first volume of Cecilia’s Notations, Birzer Guide to Art Rock and Pop, please click here. It’s only $2.99.