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Elbow : AUDIO VERTIGO Review

Elbow : AUDIO VERTIGO Review

Elbow-Sound-In-Review-cdElbow’s tenth studio release, AUDIO VERTIGO, hit the services on March 22, 2024, under Polydor Records, as a bold twelve-track program with an evolving sonic palette. This album encapsulates a journey that the Manchester-based rock band has embarked upon, navigating through rock, post-rock, and beyond, ever since their debut in 2001. With recordings taking place across Migration Studios in Gloucestershire, The Dairy in London, and mixed at Blueprint Studios in Salford, AUDIO VERTIGO is a homecoming of sorts, a synthesis of the band’s three-decade-long exploration of music.

The center presence of AUDIO VERTIGO is the band’s lead vocalist, Guy Garvey, whose signature, irresistible vocals guide the listener through the album’s narrative. His distinct Manchester accent, coupled with a blend of homespun aphorisms and surreal poeticism, injects a unique authenticity and charm into the album. Garvey’s ability to craft a phrasing that elevates the anthemic lyrics is honest, relaxed, and presented with an energy of confidence, making each song resonate emotionally.

The instrumental backbone of the album is equally compelling, with Mark Potter’s guitar work taking center stage. His playing, characterized by a mix of raw energy and intricate layering, meshes seamlessly with the rhythmic foundation laid down by powerful drums, shuffling basslines, and the occasional flourish of keyboards and horns. Notably, the track “Lovers Leap” exemplifies this blend, incorporating a gospel choir that complements the rockier elements of the album, showcasing Elbow’s ability to diversify their sound without losing coherence.

The songwriting on AUDIO VERTIGO exhibits a dynamic range, from the contemplative and earthy to the explosive and free. This dynamism is highlighted in tracks such as “Things I’ve Been Telling Myself for Years,” where a moody opening blossoms into a crescendo of call and response, and “Balu,” which exudes a British punk attitude layered over a hypnotic rhythm section. “Good Blood Mexico City” rounds out the highlighted tracks with its catchy lead guitar and storytelling prowess, encapsulating the essence of an epic journey within its brief runtime.

Elbow’s sound on this album is varied, but still categorizable as Elbow, with their identifiable sound falling between indie pop, post-rock, and progressive rock. The band’s departure from their previous works is marked by a more direct and sonically varied approach, a testament to their relentless innovation and exploration. The cohesion and longevity of the band’s lineup, featuring the Potter brothers and bassist Pete Turner alongside Garvey, have undeniably contributed to the depth and richness of their sound, which has evolved significantly since their comparisons to Coldplay and Radiohead in the early days.

AUDIO VERTIGO is a tight, exciting exploration of the contrasts between unruly instrumentation and embracing vocals, offering listeners a rockier yet profoundly expressive addition to Elbow’s storied career.



Elbow: Website

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Audio Vertigo

Release Date

March, 22, 2024


Polydor Records

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Steven Miller
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