I have been an Idlewild fan for many years. Roddy Woomble is the best front man name ever and I always found him very attractive, despite his lack of dental care. These concerns aside, I always liked the bands energy and Roddy's spiky lyrics, almost berating you for having a lower vocabulary than him. I first fell for them via 'When I Argue I See Shapes' which is a truly great pop song- and was released so many years ago that I don't even want to think about it, because it's depressing. I'm still 15 in my head.
The album 100 Broken Windows was Idlewild at their peak: the songs were all short but worked whether they were loud or mellow. There was not a bad track on it. I can listen happily listen to this album forever without fear of filler and it's only half an hour long. Perfect.
The Remote Part was also an excellent album, with some brilliant singles and B-sides. The B-sides in particular were amazing. Perhaps they should have saved a few for the intervening years because Warnings/ Promises was severely patchy, with just two or three decent tracks and quite a lot of zzzzz. The REM comparisions I never got, except I heard REMs last album and that sucked too.
The new album is a similar story. I was quite pleased that the first track or two at least seemed to pack a bit of a punch, and hoped they were going a bit punky again, and the first couple of tracks seemed quite promising. However, most of the album just seems dreary. The title is lame. The lyrics mean nothing anymore. There are no tunes. I kind of woke up at the last song Finished It Remains, but it wasn't really good enough. I want to be berated! I want to feel alive! And I don't.
So this is the first Idlewild album I won't spend cash on. And that is a shame, because they were one of my favourite bands for a long time. I still think Roddy is a big talent, a great singer and a gifted writer. Maybe he's just past it? For a band you loved when you were a kid, that's a hard thing to come to terms with. But hey, half of my favourite bands died on the Britpop wave. I'm used to tragedies.