For their fifth album, Idlewild's further refined their delivery, a brightly lit mix of emotive melody, distortion-filled guitars, and their calling card: Roddy Woomble's voice. He's been compared to Michael Stipe both tonally and lyrically, but Woomble leaps atop his lines. "In Competition for the Worst Time" coats his voice in a slightly warbling effect that he sharply cuts through, a dash of Stipe and a lot of energetic enunciation. The guitars on "Competition" and "Everything (As It Moves)" are twin throttles, chiming lead lines over rhythm-guitar scrambles of distortion and tunefulness, a truly collective effort. At its most poppy, during "No Emotion," Make Another World
is a great case for pop-tilted post-punk, with Woomble intoning earnestly amidst that (again) chiming lead-guitar line and a bevy of harmony vocals. At its most aggressive, during "If It Takes You Home," the guitars sandblast the tune, asserting Idlewild's core function, as a band that's taken all cues, from Fugazi to R.E.M., and wrapped them into a distinct blend that merits fuller commercial appeal. --Andrew Bartlett
About the Artist
Long after the time most bands stagnate, split or get too comfortable to care much either way, Idlewild prove one rule certainly doesn't suit all. Nearly twelve years after they formed in Edinburgh, the band are still evolving, still taking risks and pushing the boundaries of what they want to create. They have a new label, a new band member and a new album, Make Another World
, that bristles with taut melodies, guitars that say more than a thousand words ever could, and keen lyrical observations of a world where we all exist, however briefly or unwittingly, in each other's lives. It is an album that knows the simplest line or the shortest song can have the greatest impact, which realizes sometimes less can be a whole lot more. An album that proves Idlewild remains vital and inspired. Make Another World
, is an album of stripped back rock that is as brutal as it is tender, as intimate as it is expansive. "I think its definitely got melodic pop music at the core," Roddy says. "Warnings/Promises
had a real warm sound to it and was almost laid-back for us, whereas this is the opposite of that. We've never been interested in repeating ourselves. This one is short, sharp songs that say everything they want to say very quickly, often with guitars. It's definitely a bit more savage sounding."
The musical warmth of Warnings/Promises
still permeates its follow-up through Roddy's lyrics though. From the wry opening words ("in competition for the worst first line I can use...") to the poetic play of `No Emotion' and the evocative lines of `Once in Your Life,' Make Another World observes the world around it with disarming perception, but without judgment. "I suppose it's about cityscapes, modern language and the way a person makes a city and the city makes the person," Roddy says. "It's that idea about how we're all passing moments in everyone else's life. That's what the whole album's about in a way. When I look out of my window into the flats across the road, I can see four other people's lives happening. That stuff fascinates me."
Certainly, Make Another World
is an album made by five people who have taken the time to stop and absorb the world around them. It's the sound of a band that, after twelve years, is only just getting started.