Idlewild ' Post Electric Blues'
After being unceremoniously dropped by their label, 'Sanctuary' as the credit crunch claimed them as another music industry victim, Idlewild were in a difficult position. With nowhere to turn to, but with an albums worth of material to put out, where to turn? An interesting dilemma...only solved by an interesting idea - who else to fund the album 'Post Electric Blues' other than the very fans who were clamoring for it? Paid for with fans pre-orders this album really has a lot to live up to, never before has a band owed so much to their fans. So was it worth it?
Opening track 'Younger Than America' revisits singer Woombles, apparent love of America and sounds a bit like Bruce Springsteen, if the Boss were to decide that folk music were more his bag. The album along continues much in this vein with melodic rock/folk being the order of the day for the boys. Strangely enough for an album released in October, there is a real 'sitting round a campfire in summer' feeling to this. Songs like 'Bring You Back To Life' use simple acoustic guitars and sweet harmonies, 'Readers and writer' bounces with cheerful guitars, repetitive riffs and lyrics such as; "On a Paris street Corner...you call yourself a heartbreaker" this song screams 'festival soundtrack' at you.
If you're looking for Idlewild as they were on 'The Remote Part' try 'Dreams Of Nothing', which (whilst still sounding suspiciously like R.E.M) has a slightly tougher edge to the production, and harder guitars and backing vocals than some of the other tracks on this album. 'Post Electric' and 'All Over Town' also revisit an Idlewild of years gone by, nicely distorted guitars, used sparingly bring out Woombles smooth vocals in a excellent contrast. For the most part however, this is a new Idlewild ,complete with folk guitars, celtic violins, and lyrics that are romanticised with male/female harmonies such as: "The wind blows sad and joyful, on our arrival onto the island"
This is not ground breaking work by any means, whilst its true that Idlewild have matured into a more user friendly band on this album and that they may have more mass appeal than on some of their previous work, at points it tends to sound a bit too 'middle of the road'. The resemblance to R.E.M (which has always loitered in the background of their music) is startlingly clear now, which will thrill some, but for others will make this album a little too generic.