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Cast Of Thousands

4.2 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Second album from Bury indie band Elbow and the follow-up to their critically acclaimed debut 'Asleep In The Back', which was released in 2001. A brooding melancholic indie rock band, who have drawn comparisons to Radiohead and who's influences range from Jeff Buckley through to Peter Gabriel. Includes the lead single 'Fallen Angel'. V2.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 28, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: INgrooves Fontana/V2 Records
  • ASIN: B00009NQZC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,395 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Lohrke VINE VOICE on August 4, 2005
Format: Audio CD
i was mildly entertained by 'asleep in the back,' elbow's first album. as the title suggests, by the end of the album i was asleep. 'asleep...' was an 'atmospheric album' (save a few tracks like the beautiful 'newborn'), heavy on sound and ambience. so i surprised when i first heard 'a cast of thousands.' it's quite a step forward for the band. they, much like doves, ditched the atmospherics for a more straightforward sound. and the results are incredible.

guy garvey, he of the beautifully huskied voice, is one of rock's premier lyricists. 'i'll blow you a kiss,it should reach you tomorrow as if flies from the other side of the world' belongs among the great single lyrics of our time. other lyrics like 'pull my ribs apart and let the sun inside,' ('ribcage) 'walking through the long grass on your hands,' and 'teach you how to whistle like a boy' reveal a nice sensitivity without dipping into sentimentality. the album is full of amazing imagery, much more poetic that 99.9% of songwriters out there.

musically, the band really seems to find it's footing. every track, and i mean, EVERY track, is well worth listening to. the rawkish 'fallen angels,' the hummable 'not a job,' and my favorite song of 2003 - 'switching off.' it's a devasting and heartbreaking song. you'll hit repeat again and again and again and again. i know i did. when guy sings 'you, the only sense the world has ever made' you get goosebumps zipping up and down your body like rogue torpedos. one of the great modern love songs. trust me.

it's difficult not to join the elbow army, especially when the album ends with thousands of people singing 'we still believe in love, so f*** you!'
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Format: Audio CD
i am having a bit of a hard time trying to figure out my thoughts on this album. it's a strange one...but good, very good. the production is quite strange and unique. it seems to be a cross between some old Pink Floyd sound ideas and some of the sparse wide open spaces of dub. the vocals are closely mic'd and it sounds like the singer is whispering his thoughts directly into your ear at times. it can be a bit unsettling and strange at first, but eventually it comes accross as being very intimate and tender. the acoustic guitar and bass and drums form a solid background, but there's bit of distorted guitar that stab and pierce the open spaces in the songs...the results can be both exhilerating and annoying. the first song suffers from the use of a choir, but let that one slide and try to enjoy the rest of this record. it may take a while for these melodies to sink in and make an impact. because when i first heard it...i knew that there was something that i liked about it...but i couldn't figure out what it was...so i had to listen again and again. and finally, the charm and the character of these songs started to reveal themsleves. there's alot of great beautiful moments on here of great songwriting. this is a very mature album...perhaps more mature than you might expect from a band as young as Elbow. they write some sensitive songs, but they never stoop to the level of being bedwetters like Coldplay or the dreadful Keane. they choose instead, to add some darker tones and let the distance in their sound do some of the work. let it play a few times. i promise ... it will sink in.
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Format: Audio CD
Guy Garvey and co. set out with a sound that resembled enough of their musical mates to find a place for their music but set themselves apart enough to know that they aren't just another band from the other side of the pond. Preferably, none of the english bands should be compared to being the next Radiohead (pointless analogies), but rather to their own core of groups that they derived and were influenced from. The Manchester scene has given us numerous bands throughout the decades and, along with Doves, we are in high gear these past few years.
"Asleep in the Back" was an exceptional work that had the listener reaching with the band for areas of rock that had been previously unattainable. Stretching their sound further and expanding on their lyrics was expected and Elbow have delivered another well produced piece. Both "Ribcage" and "Fallen Angel" give you the perfect start for rock that is great for those who like it, but not meant for MTV and daily radio and that is why Elbow work. Through personal lovelorn and introspective lyrics they take their sound far and strong, but never out of reach. Real rock is true of their performances and after giving this album continuous listens, you can follow through on the path Elbow have been setting with both of their fine, fine lps.
Yet another reason why Manchester remains at the forefront of the musical map.
US version comes with 2 bonus tracks and a cd-rom complete with videos and a film accompaniment to the album.
Just under 4 stars.
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Format: Audio CD
Elbow's experimental sophomore effort is a diverse mixture of understated, melodic, melancholy, mood rock with relentless intensity. The subtle intricacies culminate to a much greater whole than they initially sound. Several astute listens to this incredible work are essential to feel the album's beauty. The stellar epic track "Fugitive Motel" is reminescent of the mysterious, lingering mood of classic tracks like Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" and Eagles' "Hotel California." It yearns with desperation, layered with dramatic piano,echoing choir-like voices, and swooning dreamy sound scapes. Vocals might be compared to Peter Gabriel and Sting with a twist of Curt Kobain. The track "Snooks" sounds like a campfire tune if Lou Reed were to host a Boy Scout troop with sudden bursts of noise as wolves sporadically attack. It's simplistic, quirky, and catchy. My favorite track is "Not a Job" which the British tone of his voice is more pronounced over metallic echoing guitar and light touches of high notes on the ivory scale. The track "Buttons and Zips" reminds me of a more refined Pavement track if the indie classic album "Slanted and Enchanted" had been more polished. The tracks "Grace Under Pressure" and "Ribcage" feature the London Community Gospel Choir on back-up vocals. With all this spiritual persuasion, I'm sure there will be many more converted Elbow fans, as I am now a devoted follower.
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