Album reviews: Elbow, Dave Gahan & Soulsavers, Damon Albarn

One of British rock’s hardiest annuals and two famous frontmen’s solo projects are reviewed this week

Elbow: blending grounded melancholy with the sweetest of melodies

POP/ROCK

Elbow

Flying Dream 1 (Polydor)

Elbow’s new album was forged during the British Covid-19 restrictions, with band members writing separately before they joined each other in Brighton’s empty Theatre Royal for finessing and recording. The creative templates, says lead singer/lyricist Guy Garvey, were “quiet, patient, whole albums” such as Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks, John Martyn’s Solid Air and The Blue Nile’s Hats. Elbow have often been accused of over-earnestness (justifiably), but if you’re in the mood for music that blends grounded melancholy with the sweetest of melodies, then this blissful piece of work is required listening. ****