Dead in the Boot

Studio Album by released in 2012

Dead in the Boot review

The first among the second

Curious things are these B-sides, songs that once in the past failed to make it to the top, being passed over, unnoticed, and underrated. As a matter of fact, there are a whole lot more reasons why some songs are chosen for a new album, and others are not than just the simple fact that these are better than those. The performer may conclude that the leftovers do not have the right feel, or do not match the concept of the album, and the list of reasons may be continued over and over. So this is why B-side songs, despite their outcast status, are always of great interest to listeners, and particularly to most loyal fans who do not want to miss out a single output from their favorites. Englishmen Elbow, who have indeed become the favorites of the worldwide audience after playing at the Olympics in London, offer the own collection of B-sides on the new CD called Dead In The Boot. Considering the professional level of these musicians, you can get down to this album without fear to be disappointed.

A strong album without one hit

Dead In A Boot is an album to get a special niche in the Elbow discography. The record is totally void of those qualities usually ascribed to commercially efficient, acclaimed albums. First of all, you are not going to find whatever we call hits, just not one song with a truly sweeping chorus to start madness at a huge arena. Secondly, the quality of arrangements here is lowered on purpose to keep listeners from forgetting that this is not an album to compete with Elbow’s other works. As for the music itself, there are moments during listening to Dead In The Boot when you wonder how THIS song got into a collection of second class stuff. Take for example McGregor. Not a radio big time, not a large sports competition anthem, it still is an impressive song with bluesy guitar and curious percussion. Actually, there are enough experiments here. Unconfident, fidgeting Lucky With Disease, and None One, generally speaking, do not have anything to do with that deep and mature sounding the newer works of the English outfit have. The drums in Long War Shuffle remind of train wheels rolling, which is but a glorious treat.

Wandering in the night

Speaking of atmosphere and concept, which some musicians try to use as a tool to bind the while set of an album, it is worth remarking that Dead In A Boot is very peculiar in terms of mood. Elbow has come out with a soundtrack to night, weariness and loneliness, if we can say so. Snowball, and Waving From The Windows are very illustrative to this point with the minimal instrumentation and tired, remote voice which can infect you with depression or drive you into deep sleep. The main highlight among the tracks of this nature is tenacious Every Bit The Little Girl with a mantra-like vocal part and a music close to ambient. On the whole, Dead In A Boot is not an album you need to get to know Elbow, for it does not reflect the direction in which the band is developing now, and, basically, should not be even compared to their other records. Releases like that are becoming rarities because labels are not very interested in them, but for a certain part of the audience each offer like that is a gorgeous present. Besides, we are speaking about Elbow, a band that could not even possibly offer a low quality product.