Idlewild: Interview Music (Empty Words) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Sunday, December 10th, 2023  


Interview Music

Empty Words

May 20, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

For their eighth studio albumtheir second since returning from a three year hiatus in 2013Scottish indie rockers Idlewild have returned to their roots by way of producer Dave Eringa. Not only did Eringa oversee the band’s phenomenal 2000-released second album, 100 Broken Windows, but he was also at the helm for its follow-up, 2002’s The Remote Part, which turned the band into a bona fide success story thanks to its anthemic sing-alongs. It’s interesting, then, that the 12 songs of Interview Music, don’t sound much like anything from either of those two records. Rather, the musical intensity and frayed emotions that defined those two records alongside frontman Roddy Woomble’s penchant for poetic lyricism are largely absent The first three tracks in particular“Dream Variations,” “There’s a Place For Everything,” and the title track come off as somewhat anemic and flat, a pale imitation of the Idlewild of old with lyrics that seem too forced and contrived.

It’s with fourth song, “All These Words,” that there’s finally a glimpse of the band’s old magic, but while it strives to capture some of that past glory, it doesn’t quite reach those heights. And while the spunky, punky riffs of “Same Things Twice” and “Miracles” brim with the kind of energy that Idlewild possessed in droves in their early days, the visceral sensibilities of those early songs are also missing. Much of that, perhaps, is to do with Woomble’s vocals on this recordall across the board, on both the faster tracks and the slower songs, his voice sounds worn down and tired. It works best on the melancholy “Forever New” and the plaintive closer “Lake Martinez,” but even then it feels like a different singer and, as such a different band. To be fair, it has been almost a quarter of a century since they formed, but plenty of other bands can and have maintained the spark for longer. Let’s hope this is just a blip, becausesadlyit’s not an album worthy of Idlewild’s fine legacy. (

Author rating: 4.5/10

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