Follow Us on Twitter

Idlewild - Post-Electric Blues

Idlewild, Post-Electric Blues

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

SEVEN albums along and Idlewild continue to impress with their latest, Post-Electric Blues.

A return to their punk-rock roots of sorts, the album is by Roddy Woomble’s own admission a deft mix of old school punk and indie rockers, with flecks of Fleetwood Mac’s folk/pop/rock peaks and Springsteen-like bombast.

More aggressive and less mellow than the material of their Warnings/Promises era, it’s super-charged and powerfully anthemic, with Woomble’s vocals displaying a clear relish for the material.

That’s not to say it’s one dimensional… far from it. There’s a diversity of songwriting that confirms why Idlewild have been able to sustain their position as one of Britain’s brightest and most consistently thrilling bands over the years.

Take the horn-led exuberance of former single Readers & Writers as a prime example – a track that positively exudes vitality and joyfulness. It’s up there with the best that Idlewild have ever delivered and a thrilling second track on the album.

Not that album opener Younger Than America sits in its shadow – well, partially so. But thanks to a siren like central guitar riff (that signals the LP’s main intent), a typically strong sense of melodic structure, and some lush female backing late on, it’s a mighty fine entry point.

City Hall, meanwhile, combines piano chords and guitar riffs to electrifying effect and maintains the high tempo, before (The Night Will) Bring You Back To Life slows things down amid a vaguely Simon and Garfunkel, folk-country vibe. It’s beautifully layered vocally… and an arresting change of pace, complete with glockenspiel chimes over the chorus.

Thereafter, Take Me Back To The Islands nods to Woombe’s solo side projects and it’s more romantic, folky effect. The inclusion of a melancholy violin is notable.

Post-Electric is a decent rocker, All Over The Town a vaguely ’80s sounding pop rocker that maintains the vitality, and To Be Forgotten an epic slow-builder that draws on the style of both REM and Snow Patrol for melody and emotional effect.

Circles In Stars is another stadium-sized crowd-pleaser and a surefire fan favourite in waiting and Take Me Back In Time ushers things to a close with a satisfyingly mid-tempo offering to reflect the aforementioned Warnings/Promises style of songwriting.

Hence, while the emphasis is largely on old school and recapturing the energy of their youth, there are enough moments throughout Post-Electric Blues to demonstrate Idlewild’s versatility and overall brilliance. They mix tempos with aplomb and have delivered a seventh album that’s truly magnificent.

Download picks: Readers & Writers, City Hall, Circles in Stars, Take Me Back In Time, (The Night Will) Bring You Back To Life

Track listing:

  1. Younger Than America
  2. Readers And Writers
  3. City Hall
  4. Night Will Bring You Back To Life, The
  5. Dreams Of Nothing
  6. Take Me Back To The Islands
  7. Post Electric
  8. All Over The Town
  9. To Be Forgotten
  10. Circles In Stars
  11. Take Me Back In Time

  1. Right on man, Idlewild are much maligned but forever brilliant. This album is no different and it’s good to see it recognised that way

    Alistair    Oct 6    #