So when the band’s new album, “Build A Rocket Boys!,” showed up with a bunch of mushy, mid-tempo pop tunes, I was very, very confused.
There is nothing on “Boys!” that even suggests that this is the same group of “Grounds for Divorce.” There are string-laden arrangements, maudlin lyrics, weird arrangements that include steel drums, and generally weak tracks. Sure, “Neat Little Rows” pounds like a good rock track, but it doesn’t have any oomph other than volume.
“Jesus Is a Rochdale Girl” is the only track that calls up Elbow’s former raw power, and it’s a mellow acoustic number. The arrangement is cut to the bone, resulting in a vital and important sound.
I’m just sad there weren’t more of those type of tracks hanging around on “Build a Rocket Boys!”