Idlewild always have a strange way of getting away it. It being a pop-rock cliche of staple-dynamics, melodic choruses that are always moments away from melancholia, and electric-guitar parts your mother still loves. Yet they always get away with it. Personally I know loads of the ‘kids’ down with Idlewild, and shamelessly too.
As a result you do step with trepidation when a new release comes out. Personally, nothing will ever beat ‘The Remote Part’ for me, and I’m sure that could be true with many others. 2009 full-length ‘Post Electric Blues’ starts off in ill-waters, as ‘Younger Than America’ just about crosses the line into cringeworthy. The problem with ‘Post Electric Blues’ is that for the first time the volume of embarrassing songs to absolute classics is considerably higher than on any previous L.P.. Sure; tracks such as ‘Readers & Writers’, ‘(The Night Will) Bring You Back To Life’, and ‘No Wiser’ are indeed excellent, but the L.P. on a whole leaves a worrying pang of disappointment.
So why am I still blogging on a mediocre album? Mainly because their earlier material has blown me away year after year, and some of their songs I can keep revisiting and falling in love with over, and over again. So this blog isn’t as much a feature on the downturn they’ve taken, but the artists they have been, and I have true faith in, that they could be.
Idlewild have an undefinable skill at making pop-rock worth listening to, and while touching on that with ‘Post Electric Blues’, looking back; songs such as ‘You Held the World in Your Arms’, ‘A Modern Way of Letting Go’, or ‘In Remote Part/Scottish Fiction’ really prove this point. They have a formula, they’re sticking to it, but every now and then, one gem will stick out so much you’ll fall in love.