Album: Song In The Air
Web: Official Site
"Don't send me away. Come with song in the air. Bring your life and your love.
Show that sparkles last. Drag on. Away. Maybe you're the same. Without me."
I enjoy a lot of different types of albums, but I am
partial to an album that hits you at a certain point in your life, makes you think a bit,
and just flat out moves you. This is one of those albums for me. I have been following
Louisville's Elliott for about three years now, and while I enjoyed their music, I never
got around to picking up one of their albums. Earlier this week, the band announced they
were calling it quits after eight years. The other day, I had a few dollars to burn, and I
decided to pick up their latest album. What a good decision it has turned out to be.
Released several months ago, Song In The
Air is Elliott's third and most daring full length yet. Over the years, Elliott has
gone through many line-up changes. With this release, the only original member remaining
is vocalist Chris Higdon. Benny Clark has been added on guitar, Jason Skaggs on bass, and
Kevin Ratterman on the drums. While I have only heard bits and pieces of their past
releases, mainly 2000's False Cathedrals, you can still tell it's Elliott, and
boy do they sound good.
The addition of Clark on guitar is extremely beneficial on this release. He crafts
some breath-taking riffs here, somewhat reminiscent of The Cure & Sigur Ros.
Even more beneficial is the addition of a string section from the Louisville area. Their
contributions on this album are hauntingly beautiful, and serve as the perfect aid to
Higdon's gorgeous voice. It is amazing how much this band has progressed since 1998's US
Songs, which was largely influenced by hardcore/emo. This is no emo record. This is
an album that avoids classifications.
"Land And Water" begins the album, and is one of the more rocking moments
on the album. Clark's presence is definitely felt on this one. Filled with a mesmerizing
atmosphere, this track sets the tone for the rest of the album. "Carry On"
follows, and is one of the album's many highlights. It is accompanied nicely by piano and
strings. Higdon and the strings really lead this one. When he shouts, "You better
carry on without me" towards the end of the song you will be moved, at least I was.
"Beijing" is a piano led epic that lasts over seven minutes. By this
point I was so immersed in the album that by the time the song ended I said to myself,
"That was seven minutes?" Track five is "Drag Like Pull," a six
minute+ instrumental with electronic tendencies. It also rocks hard, much like the album's
opener. "Bleed In Breathe Out" is another enjoyable track that begins the second
half of the album.
Finally, we get to the song that I've been dying to talk about all along, track
seven, the title track. It is by far one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. If
you aren't moved by this track, then I'm seriously going to have to question whether or
not you have a heart. "Away We Drift" and "Blue Storm," the last two
vocal tracks of the album, are spectacular, and both songs feature great climaxes.
"Blue Storm" fades into "Genea," the album's final track, which is a
short, yet dark instrumental that really allows you to take in everything you've just
heard. It is a somber finish.
This album evokes a lot different images and emotions for the listener. It is
interesting that it came out in late April because it truly feels like an essential record
for the Fall and Winter seasons. But honestly, no matter when you listen to it, its depth
and meaning shines through. However, with Fall coming on in a month or so, this album will
definitely be getting some serious play in my collection.
Overall, not only is Higdon's voice
amazing, but his obtuse lyrics are pretty impressive as well. The new additions to the
band's line-up work out perfectly. I am honestly blown away by this album, and as of this
review, it is the best thing I have heard yet this year. It will easily be near the top of
my year end list. There isn't really a bad song here. This album is the perfect finale to
their career. For those who are still heart-broken over their demise, they are doing a
round of dates of Europe and the U.S. in the Fall.