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Album Review: Everything Ever Written by Idlewild

20 years after their formation, Idlewild released their seventh full length album Everything Ever Written earlier this week. It hasn’t been an easy career, there was 2010’s hiatus, personnel changes (particularly in the bass department) and what many considered a creative dip around 2005-2007. With Everything Ever Written Idlewild have come back with a record that marries their rock roots with the Scottish folk sensibilities of their pre-hiatus sound.

Let’s make it clear from the start, Idlewild are never going to make another Hope Is Important (1998) or 100 Broken Windows (2000). Both were phenomenal records that were noisey, chaotic and full of a youthful energy. The band have matured and grown into an altogether different band. This isn’t another Make Another World (2007) either. It’s somewhere in between, similar to 2009’s Post Electronic Blues but more instantaneous and enjoyable.

‘Collect Yourself’ and ‘Come On Ghost’ may have been the leading singles and their the ideal way to open Everything Ever Written. The former has the hallmarks of a stomping rock song, the riffs are big and dirty, while the latter refines things down a little letting Roddy Woomble’s distinctive vocal take centre stage. ‘So Many Things To Decide’ veers towards a folk sound it’s a great track but the real highlight is the crooning of Woomble’s vocal.

‘Nothing I Can Do About It’ is the catchiest song on Everything Ever Written, the chorus is delightful and reminds you of the Idlewild of old, hell you even hear ‘American English’ trying to break through. Regrettably the majority of the track is decidedly U2-esque. It’s safe inoffensive rock.

With ‘Every Little Means Trust’ and ‘(Use It) If You Can Use It’ the album takes a turn for the better. Both are brilliant soft rock / indie tracks. They seep gently into your subconscious embedding themselves into your very core and before you know it they’ll be your favourite tracks on Everything Ever Written.

‘Radium Girl’ has a fantastic bass groove and a wonderful hook while ‘Left Like Roses’ transports you back to the late eighties with some Chris Rea style guitar work. The keys are fantastic, cumulating in a fun and invigorating track. The only problem is that the rest of Everything Ever Written is a bit forgettable; it’s good but nothing special.

Everything Ever Written is a must for any Idlewild fan. Although there may be sporadic moments of magic, the filler outweighs it. There’s a dangerous amount of times when Idlewild sound like U2 (not an 80s U2, but a current U2) and as such it all sounds a little bland. It’s not a bad album, just not very exciting.

AD Rating 6/10

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1 Comment on Album Review: Everything Ever Written by Idlewild

  1. Great review 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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