Music

Elbow - "Magnificent (She Says)" (Singles Going Steady)

As always Guy Garvey manages to distill life's grand themes into more relatable, domestic ones with his lyrics streaked with humility.

Paul Carr: Since finally breaking into the mainstream with The Seldom Seen Kid, Elbow have continued to produce cerebral, rousing indie songs. As expected, this is a passionate, supremely confident song from the band who have made a career of finding hope in sadness and truth in failure. The song is built around a chunky, rolling bass line and marching drums with Garvey’s plaintive croon meditating on the promises and possibilities of childhood. As always Garvey manages to distil life's grand themes into more relatable, domestic ones with his lyrics streaked with humility. The whole thing is reassuringly familiar with lush and vivid strings used as a counterpoint to the bruising rhythm and deceptively simple guitar riff. Few bands can do stirring, passionate anthems this well which makes it all the more important not to take the group for granted. [8/10]

Adriane Pontecorvo: A heartbreaking ballad of the hope inherent in (and almost entirely exclusive to) youth. Sweeping strings amp up the melodrama as Guy Garvey croons with a melancholy sort of sweetness, and it’s a beautiful combination, if sometimes drippingly sentimental. It’s a tough time for inspiration right now, but elbow does an earnest job, and this is a finely crafted song. More songs like this might just help us get through the year. [6/10]

Chris Ingalls: Elbow's one of those bands that everyone in the UK is familiar with but is largely unknown in the States. I'm not sure if their upcoming album will change that, but there's nothing to suggest it won't. Sonically, the obvious influence here is Radiohead, with the herky-jerky beats and dramatic orchestrations (whether real or synthetic). It sounds nice but loses some points for an overall lack of originality. [7/10]

Elbow's new album Little Fictions releases 3 February 2017.

SCORE: 7.00

Over the Rainbow: An Interview With Herb Alpert

Music legend Herb Alpert discusses his new album, Over the Rainbow, maintaining his artistic drive, and his place in music history. "If we tried to start A&M in today's environment, we'd have no chance. I don't know if I'd get a start as a trumpet player. But I keep doing this because I'm having fun."

Jedd Beaudoin
Music

The Cigarette: A Political History (By the Book)

Sarah Milov's The Cigarette restores politics to its rightful place in the tale of tobacco's rise and fall, illustrating America's continuing battles over corporate influence, individual responsibility, collective choice, and the scope of governmental power. Enjoy this excerpt from Chapter 5. "Inventing the Nonsmoker".

Sarah Milov
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