The Take Off and Landing of Everything
Six albums into a storied career, Elbow has won a Mercury Prize, sold out arenas, and become one of the UK's biggest groups with an elegiac brand of atmospheric rock, influenced in equal parts by prog-rock and pub-wisdom. On The Take Off and Landing of Everything, they confront every rock band's biggest challenge: getting older. "Mother forgive me, I still want a bottle of good Irish whiskey / and a bundle of smokes in my grave," sings Guy Garvey, who turned 40 just days before the album's release, confronting middle age with characteristic panache. Mellifluous and restrained, Take Off doesn't attempt to recreate the grandeur of the Mercury Prize-winning The Seldom Seen Kid, opting instead for songs like "New York Morning," a somber tune with drums and keys that gradually build from a quiet early dawn to a majestic thrum. "Honey Sun" is a smoldering mid-tempo track, featuring harmonies as warm as a cup of tea, while "My Sad Captains" wistfully celebrates Garvey’s hard-partying buddies: "Another sunrise with my sad captains / with whom I choose to lose my mind."