Idlewild – Make Another World – Review


Make Another World (Sanctuary)
by Tim Den

After the world failed to understand the complex, multifaceted Warnings/Promises, it looked as if our heroes Idlewild‘s days were numbered. Vocalist Roddy Woomble repeatedly made self-destructive remarks on tour, the band were dropped by Capitol, bassist/backup vocalist Gavin Fox quit, and Woomble even made a solo album. All signs pointed to break up. So imagine my surprise when Make Another World was announced. My curiosity was peaked: How did the band regroup so soon after such a tumultuous period? Were they eager to make amends and return to their big arena-filling rock just to please the critics and win back fans? Or were they going to further experiment with Warnings/Promises‘ artistic left turns?

Once again, the band no one can predict have done none of the above. They’ve not continued down Warnings/Promises‘ path, nor returned to The Remote Part‘s commercialbility, but rather combined the best of both and come up with a healthy, vibrant, carefree, rambunctious album that’s as much punk looseness as U2 anthemic. How? By writing songs without feeling pressured (unlike Warnings/Promises, which had to live up to The Remote Part‘s success), rocking out as if they were tackling their debut all over again, except this time with more than a decade’s worth of melody-crafting beneath their belts. Make Another World crackles and flails on the floor like Hope is Important, at the same time containing the trademark soul-moving hooks that Idlewild have become known for. First single, “If it Takes You Home,” is as rough as the band have gotten since their debut, but just listen to those vocal lines! Addictive as shit, something the band couldn’t have written when they were just starting out. Bashing drums, cranked distortion, plus addictive as hell. It’s everything fans of the band from every era could hope for. Second single, “No Emotion,” utilizes a semi-dance beat to propel an absolutely gorgeous song, catchier and more affectionate than anything on 100 Broken Windows. Idlewild have embraced their knack for crushing beauty while rediscovered their youthful energy. Make Another World is a fucking blast because of such a combination.

Though I myself would’ve liked to hear the band further the approach of Warnings/Promises, I understand that they’ve made a smarter move. If people want more left-of-center folk, they could always pick up Woomble’s solo disc. What’s important is that Idlewild seem to have taken everything they’ve learned in their career and produced a summation that’s as noisy (check the middle of the title track), pretty (the classic rock sway of “Once in Your Life”), punky (closer “Finished it Remains”), and soaring (“You and I Are Both Away”‘s epic chorus) as only the best bands are capable of. As always, and with every album, no one can tell where they’re going next, and that they are without a doubt one of the best bands in existence today.