Idlewild, ‘Warnings/Promises’

Out 07/03/05 (Parlophone)

Warnings/Promises could so easily have been Idlewild’s difficult album. In the same way as Monster was for R.E.M. after Automatic for the People and Standing on the Shoulder of Giants was for Oasis after Be Here Now.

But Idlewild seem to have overcome this potential problem that has plagued so many promising bands in the last few years. With Warnings/Promises, an album that will probably be as criminally underrated as 100 Broken Windows and Hope is Important.

Although Warnings/Promises has lost the punkier edge of Idlewild’s earlier albums, it is less like The Remote Part than new fans might have hoped. Instead, the album is a fusion of the energy of Hope is Important and the lush musical sophistication of The Remote Part. The album has that unmistakable Idlewild sound, with Roddy Woomble’s unique voice maturing in this record with harmonies in Love Steals us from Loneliness and Welcome Home. In Not Just Sometimes, the band use a string section to nice effect which is not an easy thing to do.

The only apparent weak links in Warnings/Promises are I Want a Warning that just doesn’t seem to fit in with the sound of the album, and Disconnected, which has the country twang of The Thrills and sounds somewhat out of place. This aside, Warnings/Promises is a great album, taking the band in a slightly new direction, while keeping the best bits of the earlier albums.