Just before we are graced with this new album, I thought it would be good to see what everyone's top 20 is at the moment. For mine, I have added a small something in parenthesis for each choice, either a validation or lyrical quote to underline why I have chosen it:
20. An Imagined Affair (I'll drink until the doorman is a Christmas tree.... ")
19. Mexican Standoff ("He'd look ideal 'neath the wheels of a car....")
18. The Bones of You ("Cramming commitments like cats in a sack...")
17. Starlings ("You are the only thing in any room you're ever in...")
16. Lippy Kids ("Nobody knew me at home anymore..." - I do think it's a much better, more subtle, less soppy and ultimately more beautiful song without the choir...so the album version is actually a poorer version IMO)
15. My Very Best ("Would you tell her not to talk as if I'd died, though a tiny part just did....")
14. Red (Not a remarkable song lyrically for Garvey IMO, but the music is ever stunning. Quite a complex arrangement with superb drum work)
13. Asleep in the Back ("The hieroglyphic hints in all the toilet scrawl....")
12. Dear Friends ("I've got bluster enough for the sails of a clipper, and the truth never frays a good yarn...")
11. Ribcage ("Red stain blossoms, and all you have is kisses.....")
10. Mirrorball ("We took the town to town last night, and kissed like we invented it....")
9. Friend of Ours ("Salford skyline blue, always you could fly round any corner.... until you do; love you, mate....")
8. Powder Blue ("Sallow-skinned, starry-eyed, blessed in our sin....")
7. Fugitive Motel ("Cigarette holes for every lost soul, to give up the ghost in this place....")
6. The Birds ("Did they sing a million blessings as they watched us slowly part? Do they keep those final kisses in their tiny, racing hearts?")
5, Weather to Fly ("We decided instead to pull at the thread that was stitching us into this tapestry vile....and why wouldn't you try?")
4. The Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver ("Send up a prayer in my name, just the same; they say I'm on top of my game....")
3. Switching Off ("the instant fizz; connection made, and the curtains sigh in time with you..." - Elbow are unique but as this is at no. 3, it is one of their most unique contributions... no other band could have given us this; an absolute masterpiece).
2. Scattered Black & Whites - "Crosswords through the bathroom door while someone sings the theme tune to the news... " Another beautifully vivid, unique entry and my favourite Elbow song ever if it were not for...
1. Great Expectations (As close to perfect as this band have ever got. An amazing song on all conceivable levels.... morbid to say this, but it is a song I would like played at my funeral. From "You only smoke 'cause it's something to share.... " to "The sodium light turning silver to gold....." to "Spitfire thin and string like a violin- I was..." - utter perfection.
I am liking the sound of the new stuff but haven't included any of it because it needs time as with most of Elbow's output....and we need the full album. Maybe some of it will see a place in my top 20 weeks before the release of album 7? I think Fly Boy Blue//Lunette is especially strong.