Idlewild
"Warnings/Promises"

(Capitol Records 2005)Idlewild - Warnings/Promises

A few years ago, Idlewild were thrashing Scottish lads performing catchy rock riffs. But on their latest effort, "Warnings/Promises," Idlewild are full of beautiful, soft melodies that reflect maturity and take further the direction they hinted at on the band's 2003 album "Remote Part." But with this change in direction, Idlewild stick it out and stay committed. "Warnings/Promises" remains consistent throughout with fluid melodies that fill your head and wrap themselves around you.

"Love Steals Us From Loneliness" thunders instrumentally as fragile harmonies float like clouds through the chorus. "Are you lonely yet?" singer Roddy Woomble wonders repeatedly. "I Understand It," accented by light tambourine, is more soft rock with a backbone than merely a ballad. The rich sound of strings compliment "Not Just Sometimes But Always" as Woomble's vocals command the gentle song. Idlewild offer a particular poignant moment on "Goodnight" as does a hidden acoustic track tacked on the end of the album.

Squeaky and gritty guitars, led by Rod Jones, wail and drive on "I Want A Warning" and, briefly, on "Too Long Awake" and "The Space Between All Things," whose vivid lyrics paint a clear visual for the listener. Idlewild build up a strong chorus on "El Capitan" which, in turn, plays well off of the deep tone, hint of attitude and instrumental strength of "Blame It On Obvious Ways."

"Warnings/Promises" is well written and performed, offering yet more thoughtful lyrics and driving instrumentation. The softer edge on "Warnings/Promises" is sure to alienate some fans who look for more than just ballads from these literary indie rockers. But it is Idlewild's ability to shape tuneful and memorable melodies (that you will find yourself humming days later) that is without question.

B+

buy it!