There is so much going on, and the ambitions shown are so bold and brilliant, that you can’t help but root for the record even when it’s falling a little short.
IDLES’ most considered, sonically thoughtful, and complex release to date, taking the band down a new path while preserving their strengths.
As much fun as its riffs and crunching tone can be, the album feels like a product of veterans going through the motions. For a really long time.
Weaving larger-than-life arrangements with razor-sharp yet feather-light lyricism, Crookes sits as the centerpiece of a kind of big band pop.
Blake’s vocals are, predictably, beautiful; Blake’s production is, predictably, meticulous; and it’s all, predictably, quite predictable.
Come for the singalong hooks of “El Scorcho”, “Pink Triangle”, and “Falling for You”, stay for Rivers Cuomo’s tales of loves lost and loves unrequited.
Romping rock and roll sounded like a breeze for Marc Bolan, and when you add some vintage Visconti wizardry into the mix, you can’t really go wrong.
Uncompromising, and very brutal indeed. Some listeners will struggle to see it through to the end, whereas others will feel oddly comforted by its harshness.
Each note of every individual performance is captured and presented perfectly, with the ragged spirit of the band left intact. It’s scruffy yet masterful.