I guess I was a good boy this year. Mrs. NH got me the Elbow vinyl box set for Christmas. She did so after I refused to stop talking about it. I actually made the order. But with her express consent. So that’s a gift, right?
Last night I got time to sit down and inspect the set and give a few platters a listen. First, the set itself. It comes in a sturdy box with the Elbow logo. The albums are all 180 gram double vinyl and the artwork is minimalist and familiar to all of the regular releases. What is different on the vinyl is that one record of each album has a lyric scratched into the runout groove area. A cool little touch.
As for the sound, I came away impressed. Having listened through the first four albums (Asleep in the Back, A Cast of Thousands, Leaders of the Free World and The Seldom Seen Kid), all sound great. Leaders is a little compressed sounding but as I recall, so is the original CD version. Still, it sounds great. But the real show-stopper was Kid. The depth in my headphones and intricacies of the recording really shine through. I heard instrumental flourishes that I’ve never heard. The vinyl itself is quiet and this makes the listening experience a real pleasure.
With only 2000 of these in existence, I’m glad to have one in my possession. This is one of the best bands on the planet at this time and the fact that the set leaves room for a “Coming Soon” release makes me think it’s going to be a pretty good 2013.