Idlewild: Post Electric Blues

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There was a time, around 2002 or so, when I thought Idlewild was the best rock band in the world. Or when, at least, they were the embodiment of what I meant by "rock band". But something else won me away eventually, and I wasn't nearly as fond of Make Another World as I had been of Warnings/Promises and The Remote Part.

But the magnificent b-sides comp, a little while back, reminded me what it used to feel like to believe in them, and now I'm sitting here listening to Post Electric Blues, falling in love again differently. Maybe this time they seem less iconic and more idiosyncratic to me, and maybe it makes sense that they self-released this. It's quieter, in parts, and quirkier, maybe finally a whole album with the erratic energy that always made me love a couple of each cycle's b-sides as much as any album track. And I don't think it's just geography that makes me imagine Waking Hours-era Del Amitri's romantic urgency pushing the twee out of Belle and Sebastian, or a little bit of Runrig's awe crowding the fear out of Frightened Rabbit.

Anyway. Awesome. Come back if you've been away.

glenn mcdonald, Saturday, 27 June 2009 02:36 (ten years ago) link

i'm glad you post here Glenn as you have been a good addition to ILM.

i liked 100 Broken Windows when it came out but never really explored any further with this band. i tend to like b-side type of albums from bands so i will check this out.

Bee OK, Saturday, 27 June 2009 03:24 (ten years ago) link

I've alkways been quite fond of Idlewild, so I'm gonna check this out when I get the chance.

I really liked the previous albums, especially Warning/Promises.

Marty Innerlogic, Saturday, 27 June 2009 09:27 (ten years ago) link

Waking Hours-era Del Amitri's romantic urgency pushing the twee out of Belle and Sebastian, or a little bit of Runrig's awe crowding the fear out of Frightened Rabbit.

Mondeo Pop

YOULL BE BAND FROM THE WEB FOR BEING OLD BITCHES!!!! (DJ Mencap), Saturday, 27 June 2009 11:24 (ten years ago) link

Well, smug car-model dismissals will have to hold us until somebody other than me has actually heard it.

glenn mcdonald, Sunday, 28 June 2009 00:35 (ten years ago) link

I've been playing it heavily for a few weeks and I enthusiastically second glenn's "awesome". I thought they had tremendous potential at the time of The Remote Part, but mild disappointment with Warnings/Promises turned into complete indifference with Make Another World. In that sense, this one's been the biggest, most pleasant surprise of the year for me. Definitely a "come home" kind of moment.

whalemusic, Monday, 29 June 2009 21:06 (ten years ago) link

^this makes me interested, as i thought they were a fantastic band up to and including remote part, but warnings was such a disappointment that i got off the bus completely..

c.c. crabcock (electricsound), Monday, 29 June 2009 23:54 (ten years ago) link

also echoing glenn's comments upthread about the quality of many of their b-sides

c.c. crabcock (electricsound), Monday, 29 June 2009 23:55 (ten years ago) link

As my fourth (fifth?) listen finishes, it occurs to me that this also reminds me, in overall buoyant openness if not exact particulars, of the Boo Radleys' Wake Up!. And "Readers & Writers", in particular, is a small circus packed into a sub-3:00 pop song on the grand order of "Ana Ng", and could easily be my song of the year if I had to pick one at the halfway point.

glenn mcdonald, Tuesday, 30 June 2009 15:13 (ten years ago) link

two months pass...

finally got around to hearing this, it's quite immediate and i do think it's almost a return to 'remote part'-era form. they're still a long way (and will probably permanently remain so) from the band who i fell in love with for making "annihilate now" but it feels like they've lost some of their complacency and the limpwristedness that made the last couple of records such a snore

surfin on my face (electricsound), Tuesday, 8 September 2009 00:18 (nine years ago) link

eight years pass...

been reacquainting myself with these guys and I wish I'd thought to nominate either of the first two albums to the emo poll - they absolutely count imho

also learned that Roddy Woomble has *six* solo albums jfc

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Monday, 30 July 2018 19:31 (eleven months ago) link

oh yeah the first two albums definitely would've counted. also what a coincidence simon, the guitarist in my band has been trying to get me to listen to hope is important for years and i finally gave it a shot last week

princess of hell (BradNelson), Monday, 30 July 2018 22:52 (eleven months ago) link

in the first-three-albums era they cranked out so many good songs, tons of great b-sides. The later albums are worthwhile too, just a little less exciting.

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Monday, 30 July 2018 23:07 (eleven months ago) link

I second all these opinions, I used to love this band during their first 3 albums.

Marty8501 (Marty Innerlogic), Tuesday, 31 July 2018 12:49 (eleven months ago) link

Ha, they were my favorite band all through the '00s, tho I never imagined I'd find anyone praising them on here. I'd urge those '09 posters to give Make Another World another shot. If we're talking about the early albums in terms of emo then that's their (at least partially) pop-punk record. It's got some hooks. In Competition for the Worst Time, No Emotion, Ghost in the Arcade... these are tunes.

Am I the only one who heard (and, uh, helped fund) Everything Ever Written? It was pretty good at best, a bit routine, though I thought "Radium Girl" was great and hinted at the kind of album they could make if they fully embraced wooden ideas, er, pop.

geoffreyess, Saturday, 4 August 2018 20:59 (eleven months ago) link

There are some really good songs on ‘Make Another World’.

michaellambert, Saturday, 4 August 2018 21:31 (eleven months ago) link

Agreed. After that one I pretty much tap out - the last album is unbelievably sleepy.

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Sunday, 5 August 2018 15:28 (eleven months ago) link

nine months pass...

It felt weird to find the new one stocked at the record store yesterday, after years of imports followed by years of crowdfunding. I thought I knew all five people in the U.S. who care about this band. Anyway, I strained to enjoy the last album but Interview Music is requiring no effort: it's fun! Something like the album I was dreaming of in my last post. Plus Roddy using this voice again:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJj_D1qnWGY

geoffreyess, Saturday, 11 May 2019 17:00 (two months ago) link

Weird to see this bumped, I was listening to 100 Broken Windows and The Remote Part this morning. I don't think I've listened to either of them for years. 'You Held the World in Your Arms' sounded to me like one of the best songs of the '00s... I don't remember ever thinking that at the time of its release, as much as I liked it.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Saturday, 11 May 2019 17:06 (two months ago) link

While I'm here, here's Idlewild POX:

Let Me Sleep (Next to the Mirror)
Mistake Pageant
Live in a Hiding Place
Out of Routine
Tell Me Ten Words
Love Steals Us from Loneliness
In Competition for the Worst Time
A Ghost in the Arcade
Take Me Back to the Islands
Radium Girl

geoffreyess, Saturday, 11 May 2019 17:30 (two months ago) link

Out of Routine is one of my all-time favourites

kinder, Saturday, 11 May 2019 18:14 (two months ago) link


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