Idlewild 100 Broken Windows

Two years ago, Idlewild were a band from Scotland who had a mini album, Captain, a full-length debut album, Hope Is Important, and a record deal with Blur's Food Records under their belt while still in high school. And while most of their songs were two-minute epics full of young punk rock energy, the band showcased plenty of intelligence through their ability to write fabulously thought-out songs. 100 Broken Windows, their second album proper, is their chance to prove that they are now older, wiser and more mature. From the opening seconds of "Little Discourage," you can hear the R.E.M. comparisons, especially in Roddy Woomble's voice. Throughout the album, it becomes more apparent that this band is almost too smart for their age, sounding more like a greying philosophy professor's lecture on Camus than four early 20-somethings. And while the distorted guitars are still occasionally turned up to help amplify the band's emotions, it's hard to forget about how much the band sounds like Nirvana. With a strong European fan base and an upcoming third album in the works, Idlewild are on their way to becoming a great rock band. (EMI)