Now THIS is what I call a record! Idlewild's third album, The Remote Part, actually came out in the UK last year, but barely any of you peeps have it yet, so it's all new to you. Not only is it new, IT RULES. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Idlewild is a Scottish R.E.M. weaned on punk instead of the influences of Athens, GA. The arrangements, the slightly-off-kilter vocal delivery, it's all reminiscent of the seminal US act, without sounding derivative. The Remote Part kicks off with one of my contenders for single of the year, "You Held The World In Your Arms," and doesn't let down. From the spiky "A Modern Way Of Letting Go," to the sweeping pop of "American English," the album is a chest full of gems, waiting to be discovered. The quartet from Edinburgh is just as comfortable penning songs that make you want to crash around your room ("[I Am] What I Am Not," the Sugar-esque "Out Of Routine") as they are at tugging at your heartstrings ("In Remote Part/Scottish Fiction"). If you want to hear one of the most brilliant bands on the planet, and one not writing music like it's 1978, get your ass down to your local record store; The Remote Part is worth it.
JEREMY P. GOLDSTEIN