Any critique of Make Another World, the latest album from Scottish five-piece Idlewild, must begin with a discussion of this band’s fantastic name. Idlewild, a beautiful meeting of two words, both fairly evocative in their own right.
Try saying Idlewild – it just feels good.
The band attempts to carry this poetic flavour through to the album. Vocalist Roddy Woomble sings rambling, abstract lyrics, vaguely encompassing relationships, memories, and of course the dreaded e-word, emotions. However, the quality of the lyrics on Make Another World never quite measure up to the brilliance of the band name. There are no blinding revelations here; no cryptic statements or white-hot metaphors. This is unashamedly pop-rock, heavy on melody and somewhat light on lyrical content.
Or maybe I am just being fussy. Make Another World is an enjoyable listen, even if it is lacking a bit in substance. Better still, with repeated listens, my appreciation for their music only grew. Not that any great secrets are revealed to the careful listener, but Idlewild’s sound is undeniably pleasant. The band have a good, if not groundbreaking, grasp of melody, and have put together some catchy tunes. If anything, Make Another World is primarily let down by an uninspiring mix, with many of the tracks lacking in texture or vitality.
While Idlewild is not hard to place in the pantheon of pop-rock, the members refuse to sound generic. The songs have a certain charm, and the band makes subtle use of any outside influence, with The Killers or Scottish colleagues Snow Patrol their closest neighbours.
Despite some hum-drum moments, Make Another World is worth a listen, if only for an excuse to say Idlewild.