Help! I Unplugged My Elbow

The latin name for the elbow is articulatio cubiti. The relatively obsolete unit of measurement known as the ell is related to the elbow (“defined as the length of a male forearm from elbow to fingertips“). It is also known as a cubit. Other things related to the elbow are two towns – one in Saskatchewan, population 294 – the other in Texas. The latter is actually an unincorporated community in Howard County. People named Elbow include elbow from Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, and Peter Elbow, professor emeritus of English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. But this is not a post about of them. This is about the band Elbow from Ramsbottom, England. Specifically, it is about their new acoustic, live EP World Cafe Live: 

I must confess, I was relatively unfamiliar with Elbow upon hearing this album. I really, really enjoyed. Guy Garvey’s soft, yet tantalizing vocals have a rock edge, that is amplified by the swift smooth sounds of Craig Potter’s piano playing and the gentle strumming of the guitar by Garvey and Craig’s brother Mark, which both take turn being the lead instruments. All the tracks on this five song EP, are button-down versions of previously recorded tunes.

The lead track – This Blue World – reminds me of the feeling I get when I am dreaming of or thinking of water. A crystal clear ocean. Potter’s piano is soft, gentle and breezy. Real Life (Angel), is a place where happy endings run amok and wouldn’t be out of place at the end of a Nicholas Sparks film adaptation or any Hollywood funeral scene. The finishing song My Sad Captains is much more upbeat and masterfully weaves elements of folk, gospel and pop to create molecular and music fusion awesomeness. The harmonies are to die for.

Though the album is only five songs long, it seems to capture the essence of who Elbow is. It is the very best of a band that proves they are able to sing in a small, intimate setting in Philadelphia, as well as larger, clap-your-hands sold out show from Manchester to New York. So whether you want to curl up with a glass of wine, or just meditate with our thoughts for about half an hour so, may I recommend World Cafe Live (EP).

World Cafe Live (EP) was released on January 5, 2015 by Fiction/Concord

RIYL: Noah and The Whale, Stornoway, Billy Bragg


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