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Date Released: April 19, 2005
- Love Steals Us from Loneliness
- Welcome Home
- I Want a Warning
- I Understand It
- As if I Hadn't Slept
- Too Long Awake
- Not Just Sometimes but Always
- The Space Between All Things
- El Capitan
- Blame it on Obvious Ways
I consider A Modern Way of Letting Go Idlewild's best song. By far. I like Live in a Hiding Place, I like Roseability, I really like Little Discourage... But having heard The Remote Part and been slightly put-off by the entire second half of that disc (which amounted to a mid-tempo ballad with some variation), and then having heard some performances from recent live shows in preparation for Warnings/Promises that basically butchered their back-catalogue by bringing everything to a boring mid-tempo half-gallop, I was fearing the worst. For once, I was right: Warnings/Promises isn't performed by Idlewild at all, but in fact a parallel universe-Idlewild going by the name Idlemild that puts a former fan of the band off with the entire album (which amounts to, and here's your warning and promise all rolled into one, a mid-tempo ballad with no variation) and rocks with all the gusto and relevance of an REM concert.
Love Steals Us from Loneliness would've fit right in with the crowd on The Remote Part, but the problem here is that instead of fitting in, it's the leadoff track to an album that doesn't rock with half its flair and even a quarter of its jaded ennui. Hell, anything would be better than nothing at all, even if it's lamentable boredom. If this is the only song you've heard (and that's possible as it was the noticeable single in Britain and will probably get a publicity push with its August 16 date in the US, a strange delay), you're in for a rude awakening of the most unpleasant kind: Warnings/Promises isn't rude at all.
Continuing down the road of polishing their sound to the point that they are unrecognizable as anything other than an entity trying to perfect the pop-rock song (See also: Weezer), the still-hilariously-named Roddy Woomble leads the now-sextet (Gavin Fox and Allan Turner have been added as replacement bassist and new guitarist, respectively) through daytime soap opera background ballad Welcome Home, followed by another near-miss, I Want a Warning. Too Long Awake and The Space Between All Things are the other standouts, but that's comparatively speaking.
I would talk about the other seven tracks on the album, but I barely remember them because they all run together. No, scratch that: To say they run together is being overly generous. They're jogging together, and it's not a pretty sight. El Capitan is a reference to the death of the Idlewild people used to know (Captain was their debut) and Disconnected is notable for being a huge, huge mistake: Alt-country is not supposed to be in Idlewild's description, yet this song (and album, as evidenced straight away by the western-style fonts of the cover) blasphemes with all the fearlessness of a Cassetteboy recording. It's not unique in that regard, either; at various other points on the album (including the excruciating closer Goodnight, that hides another song which- surprise!- is a boring mid-tempo ballad), they show how interested they've become as a band in becoming uninteresting. When it's (finally) all over, one realizes that Idlemild have truly taken over and that the Idlewild of old is well and truly dead.
If you're into that, of course, you're in for a real treat.
It's just disappointing to hear a band defame its own legacy. For me, Idlewild have now hit the most disturbing kind of rock bottom: Comfort with their increasingly unmemorable identity. At least I'll have the memories of what they once were and could have been... As long as I have a memory, anyway. - Patrick Masterson
This is possibly the worst album ever made. Roddy the Womble seems more concerned with his cock these days, than the music. - Anonymous