Day 3 Mercury Prize – Elbow – build a rocket boys!

7 Aug

Elbow have returned with their fifth studio album build a rocket boys! and remind us why The Times named them one of Britain’s greatest bands. Previous Mercury winners might have matched and bettered their previous win Seldom Seen Kid with this album.

The album kicks off with the 8 minute take-off The Birds. The Birds is a techno-imitating, inviting introduction to the album that will have you bopping along instantly. Lippy Kids, while maintaining the slow progression that is created in The Birds but it creates the uplifting atmosphere that will carry you throughout this CD, with the title of the album being the memorable lyrics.


When you are half-way through With Love, the next track, then you realise that you love this LP, you don’t really like it, you love it. With Love is a lovely, warm, cozy song, that instantly puts a smile on your face and want to cry with joy. Neat Little Rows comes next but doesn’t ruin this mood at all. It’s a delightful and lively song that you can play in the background on a sunny day.

Jesus is a Rochdale Girl turns to a more acoustic feel and is much more quiet, developed and tuneful song that still makes you happy, which is what I love about this album. It’s about putting a smile on your face and while I hate to use this phrase so much, loving life. The Night will Always Win maintains this motive before we progressively get back into a snappy High Ideals that will be playing at your nearest Starbucks. The River follows with a Coldplay feel but everything that’s wrong about Coldplay is corrected here.

Then we have the most perfect, beautiful, song on the album, Open Arms. Open Arms makes you want to shout with happiness, calm down, and be happy. We close the album with a reprise from The Birds with the perfect album closer Dear Friends.

Build a rocket boys! is the most generous, compassionate, cheerful album I have ever come across. It’s a record I couldn’t possibly tire of and one that I honestly cannot fault. I love it so much. That being said, if we’re considering it for the Mercury, this band doesn’t need any more publicity if it already won the award two years ago but if it won I certainly wouldn’t complain.
Score: 10/10

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