Idlewild Make Another World

Idlewild Make Another World
Always a reliable go-to band for book smart angst rock and pensive folk-tinged pop, Scotland’s Idlewild have unfortunately stumbled with their sixth album. Another change in line-up — Gavin Fox left and was replaced by Gareth Russell — their fifth since they formed in 1995, probably has little to do with it; quite simply, Idlewild sound tired. And that’s a tough thing for this band to overcome, considering they’ve reverted back to the loud, heavy, grungy guitars that gave birth to them, a big turnaround after 2005’s temperate Warnings/Promises. The biggest problem is singer/songwriter Roddy Woomble; he released a poorly received solo album of traditional folk songs last year and now he’s lost the literary punch that was essential to Idlewild’s formula. Gone are the uplifting song titles and chorus sing-alongs, with the exception of "In Competition For the Worst Time,” which kicks off the album with a pretty rousing attack. But "No Emotion” unsuccessfully tries a hook through a catchy vocal effect and disco beat that feels as awkward as when Kiss used it in ’79. The title track follows that up with a powerful statement, one lifted by a soaring guitar riff that would delight Will Sergeant, and the arresting horn on "Future Works” shows a foray into a new, exciting direction. However, Make Another World feels flat in comparison to their previous work. Members have just entered their 30s, so it’s not as if they’re over the hill but Woomble needs to go back and rediscover his early 20s inspiration, then they can become the mighty band they were just four years ago. (Sanctuary)