Preceded by a string of intimate acoustic gigs aimed at showcasing the new songs to fans, Warnings/Promises is one of the most anticipated albums of 2005. And it’s definitely worth waiting for.
Produced by Tony Hoffer (Air, Beck, The Thrills) and recorded in Los Angeles, the fourth full-length work from Idlewild alternates acoustic
numbers with heavier tacks, while leading us through all its “noisy ragged glory” – as described by Roddy Woomble’s recent blog on the band’s website.
The album opens with first single Love Steals Us From Loneliness, whose lyrics “my anger is a form of madness, so I’d rather have hope than sadness”, its comparisons between the sky and Roddy’s vagabond state of mind, and a general melancholic feel bear echoes of early R.E.M.. Gems such as Too Long Awake add another dimension to Idlewild’s music, with a psychedelic instrumental intro lasting over a minute before we can hear any word, and with the song ending abruptly into the following Not Just Sometimes But Always, a delicate string-and-guitar-led love ballad.
The overall feel is that this band has grown up, matured, and has preferred introspection to the fatter sound of The Remote Part. Because of this, at first listen the record does not make an immediate impact, but a closer look is needed to appreciate the emotion and the spirit of what is probably Idlewild’s best album so far.