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Elbow: The Take Off And Landing Of Everything (Polydor)

When Elbow released The Seldom Seen Kid in 2008, it was virtually a last throw of the dice for a band who'd spent their entire existence being picked up and dropped by record labels.

The moral of the story was, of course, that sometimes the good guys do win for all the right reasons: a Mercury Prize victory, national anthem status for One Day Like This and secure footing on festival main stages followed in its wake.

So while The Take Off And Landing Of Everything doesn't stake out new territory, it's further proof that Elbow are a band who have learned by experience that it's worth taking time to get to where you're going, even if that means pushing songs past the seven-minute mark on a more contemplative, more steadily paced album than predecessor Build A Rocket Boys.

A sweep of strings here and a stab of jazzy horns there aren't simply the indulgences of fickle label bosses happy with current success; they're in keeping with Elbow's compositional goals, a means to bring colour to Guy Garvey's northern pub-philosopher vocals and a chain of beautifully crafted tunes that keep diverting along unexpected paths. Other albums will hit more faddish nerves in 2014, but this is the one that'll still be delivering several listens down the line.

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