For a band to complete and release six albums while keeping their material's quality at a respectable level, you've got to tip your cap to the Scottish rockers Idlewild. With their latest record, Make Another World, we find the band rediscovering their rock roots while still maintaining their pop accessibility.
I can still remember my first time listening to Idlewild. A former roommate of mine spent the summer in London, and would send me a package of vinyl every week or two. One of these contained the 7" single for "When I Argue I See Shapes," which quickly became a staple on my weekly radio program. Their earlier sound was the perfect balance of rock and pop, which is a sound they have finally rediscovered.
Perhaps the return to rock was partially fueled by frontman Roddy Woomble getting the melancholy out of his system via a folk solo album. Regardless of the reason, within the opening seconds of "In Competition For The Worst Time," the crunchy guitars and explosive bass line show an immediate declaration by Idlewild that they are ready to turn their amps back up.
Woomble's vocal harmonies fill up the single "No Emotion," a radio friendly number with a driving disco beat and a catchy-as-hell melody. There is no reason that this song shouldn't finally catapult the band into the same stratosphere of popularity as Snow Patrol and Kaiser Chiefs.
To the band's credit, their timing could not have been any better to put out a record like this. While indie rock bands continue to bombard press and radio, Idlewild proves that melodic rock still has its place. They have also rediscovered their effects pedals, as "If It Takes You Home" is jam-packed with aggressive crunchy guitars and those patented vocal harmonies once again.
"You And I Are Both Away" marks one of the album's true highlights. Giving Woomble a few moments in the opening to take the spotlight backed with little more than guitar noise, it then kicks in with fat guitars and a wall of vocals that sends chills. It is a beautiful moment, with Idlewild confidently showing that they still have plenty left in their musical arsenal for years to come.
Sure their hints of REM that comprised much of their previous album Warnings/Promises are still there, but they are much more balanced out on Make Another World. Idlewild has finally given us a record that will easily appeal to both fans of old and new, and it is a good one!