Asleep in the Back (1xCD)
Released: February 11, 2002
Release InfoElbow: Guy Garvey (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, harmonica, synthesizer, percussion, sound effects); Mark Potter (acoustic & electric guitars, background vocals); Craig Potter (piano, organ, synthesizer, background vocals); Pete Turner (synthesizer, bass, background vocals).
Additional personnel includes: Ian Burdge (cello); Francoise Lemoignan (saxophone); Bob Sastri, Nick Coen (brass); Danny Evans (percussion, loops); Ben Hillier (percussion, background vocals).
Producers: Danny Evans, Elbow, Ben Hillier, Steve Osborne.
Engineers include: Danny Evans, Steve Lloyd, Danton Supple.
England's Elbow has been labeled as nouveau prog-rock, but Pink Floyd rarely sounded this radio-friendly. With tracks built on soaring vocals, shimmering guitars, spooky strings, and trance-inducing beats, the group falls more accurately between morose modern balladeers such as Coldplay and Travis and experimental sonic soldiers like Radiohead and early Genesis. They've described their sound as "prog without the solos," which also doesn't do justice to their full-length debut, ASLEEP IN THE BACK, by half.
The album is a subtly shifting series of dreamy pop songs with emotionally tortured lyrics. With a voice that veers between the keening falsettos of Radiohead's Thom Yorke and Dave Matthews' raspier end, Garvey mostly hovers over the album's skeletal, floating arrangements. He almost gets lost in the swell of "Newborn," while achieving a hypnotizing strength with the double- and triple-tracked vocals of "Any Day Now," and nearly whispering himself out of the picture on the Floydian "Bitten by the Tailfly." Most of the arrangements hover around the mid-tempo range and the group is not afraid to stretch well past the five-minute mark, allowing the songs to slowly unfold at their leisure.
Tracks1. Any Day Now
3. Little Beast
4. Powder Blue
5. Bitten by the Tail Fly
6. Asleep in the Back
8. Don't Mix Your Drinks
9. Presuming Ed
10. Coming Second
11. Can't Stop
12. Scattered Black and Whites