Elliott - Song In The Air (Cover Artwork)


Elliott: Song In The AirSong In The Air (2003)
Revelation Records

Reviewer Rating: 4

Contributed by: maverickScott
(others by this writer | submit your own)

This is not your older brother's Elliott. Odds are, if you have an older brother, and he's in his mid-twenties, he probably loved the Elliott of old, playing "U.S. Songs" almost religiously. He anxiously awaited the day the band would come to town, bringing with them their unique post-hardcore-b.
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This is not your older brother's Elliott.

Odds are, if you have an older brother, and he's in his mid-twenties, he probably loved the Elliott of old, playing "U.S. Songs" almost religiously. He anxiously awaited the day the band would come to town, bringing with them their unique post-hardcore-but-not-quite-emo sound, with absolutely insane guitarist Jay Palumbo in tow.

Your older brother was probably entering college when the group's second album, "False Cathedrals," came out. It was quite the departure from the band's previous work, incorporating drummer Kevin Ratterman's songwriting skills and ideas into the music. The sound went more atmospheric and layered, and caused a rift in the band between Palumbo and the rest. This rift was almost as great as the one caused between the album and your older brother. He really didn't dig the second disc at all, wishing that the band return to their simpler Louisville hardcore days.

If your brother was stunned by "False Cathedrals," he'd probably drop dead of disbelief after hearing "Song In The Air."

"Song In The Air," as far as I'm concerned, is Elliott's first proper album. The band has had so many lineup changes in the past 5 years that only now have they been solidified enough to write and record an album. Completely absent is any remnants of influence from Palumbo's frenetic guitar. The group has taken their sound on this release to a completely different level of comprehension - I can see this album blowing the minds of indie rockers who smoke pot. The music takes a decidedly mellow turn for the majority of the disc, almost pushing into the as-yet-uncharted emo-blues category [in "Believe"]. Atmospheric guitar effects provided by Benny Clark make you think of U2's Edge. A lot of old fans of the band have professed an undying hatred for Mr. Clark, claiming he "ruined" the band's old songs, but personally, I think he's fucking genius.

Singer Chris Higdon's voice is as soft and gentle as it has ever been, lulling the listener into a deep emotional slumber. He really shines on the title track, a piano, strings and voice arrangement. It's beautiful. That's about all I can say.

Speaking of strings - a string quartet tends to infiltrate a good portion of the tracks on here [being played by members of the Rachel's, I believe]. You can tell that a lot of careful thought went into this disc, and I think it pays out in spades.

The biggest part of the puzzle missing is any semblance of the "rock" on the album. The whole disc is very low-key, save two tracks. "Drag Like Pull" is an instrumental that really delivers, with a pulsating drumbeat coupled with Benny's aforementioned spacey guitar effects. Benny also brings "Away We Drift" to life, using reverb again coupled with a pulsating drumbeat. My only complaint is that more of the album isn't like this [even though I really, really enjoy the mellower stuff].

Oh yeah, the artwork is absolutely stunning, too.

Like I said, this isn't your older brother's Elliott. If you're one of the band's "purist" fans, then you'll despise this album. But enter with ears ready to be wowed, and you'll come away richer.

Carry On

Download 4 MP3s off this release by joining Elliott's Yahoo! Group.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
pure_west102 (August 12, 2006)

I kinda disagree with some points in this review.

As a die hard fan of False Cathedrals, I wasn't surprised they went this way, because attemtping to make another Cathedrals or trying to out do it is simply impossible. A record like that comes along once in a lifetime, once in a genre.

Song in the Air is just Elliott being Elliot-it blows you away while keeping you close.
If any band can do that, it's Elliott, and if that can be said of any other band, it's a lie.

Anonymous (July 26, 2004)

So powerful

Anonymous (May 6, 2003)

The strings on this album are absolutely gorgeous. In a way, I do get that Radiohead Kid A vibe where you're not really paying attention to the lyrics or the music seperately...it's one, giant force that blows you the fuck away. I love it. I'm the older brother by the way. Cheers to Elliott for this spacey disc.

sickboi (May 6, 2003)

Did you hook up with the digits? If Elliot helped you get tang', I may respect them a little.

CallingLondon (May 4, 2003)

i bought the album yesterday. i was in a record store, and i asked if i could listen to a new album (as opposed to their used albums) and when i said which one, one of the girls behind the counter started clapping and saying that the album is "soo good!" then they told me they had the album in one of the listening booths. so listened to a few songs, and bought it. it's really good.

cubaricho (May 3, 2003)

I got this album after reading the review and I must say it's top notch.

CallingLondon (May 2, 2003)

well i'm an indie rocker who smokes pot, so i suppose i should check this shit out. i like this real player file. relaxing. and i definitely hear the U2 sound you were talking about in the guitar.

JustinsFanClub (May 2, 2003)

I saw them like a week ago and they put me to sleep. I don't understand how emo kids stand during concerts. I mean i fell over from boredom, thats the last time I let a girl drag me to a show (well probably not but I'd like to think it will be)

-Justin's Fan Club

Anonymous (May 2, 2003)


Anonymous (May 2, 2003)

i fucked your brother...hahaha. no really...i did. Scott, im talking to you.

FortyMinutesWest (May 1, 2003)

"you guys are all fucking jaded or neive retards."

If you're going to call someone else a retard, atleast know how to spell the word naive.

pope_schlomo (May 1, 2003)

my older brother listens to 50 cent, the old wu-tang albums and NWA. he is so cool.

(express yourself)

Anonymous (May 1, 2003)

emo blues?

bob log wont have it.

Anonymous (May 1, 2003)

This is the worst band ever. FUCKING SUCKS!!!!!!

Anonymous (April 30, 2003)

i just picked this up. it is fucking incredible. better than false cathedrals or us songs. the instrumentation is so great, it just has such an interesting sound to it. a great record to chill out to.

travisangst (April 30, 2003)

you guys are all fucking jaded or neive retards. this album is so astral and soothing, i love it. i loved false cathedrals too. you guys should quit being pissed off that all of your hardcore bands aren't hardcore anymore. seriously...most of the kids on here are probably the same kids that hate cave in now because they're not hardcore anymore. or the kids who hate the gadjits because they're not ska anymore, and they're fucking amazing rock'n'roll. but yeah, i love elliott. you can hear so much Cure influence here...it's great.

Anonymous (April 30, 2003)

Great music... it has the feel I loved off of "False Cathedrals".

Anonymous (April 30, 2003)

My older brother says that this is fag music.

Anonymous (April 30, 2003)

Wow, it must suck to live in Kentucky...


Anonymous (April 29, 2003)

Benny must be destroyed along with anyone who looks or (especially) dances like him. I used to live in Louisville and now everytime I go home for a visit I see Benny's stupid ass working at Ear-x-Tacy and I really want to pummel the living shit out of him for destroying one of my favorite bands. I honestly hope one of my KY brothers will heed my plea and beat the shit out of him not only for the music scene, but for KY.

Anonymous (April 29, 2003)

I saw Elliot in Madison last weekend. Benny is fucking terrible. He hides behind effects pedals and really has nothing to offer the band besides drowning them out with his uninspired noodling. And the eyes closed-shake head back and forth-Muppet dance has to go. Seriously, does he have any idea how stupid he looks when he does that? I have nothing against the band mellowing out and changing their sound, but they should really find a better lead guitar player. Anyone notice how with his new rockstar haircut he looks exactly like Nigel from Spinal Tap?

(The score is for the band only playing a half hour set on Saturday.)

Icapped2pac (April 29, 2003)

"False Cathedrals" is my #2 favorite album of all time. But, in the words of the great Inignot, this CD "is very boooring". And thus, it fits that, like the fate of Carl's dresser before it, the cover of this album resembles a CD in flames....

I still plan on buying it, probably for no other reason than (like somebody else said) Chris' voice is fucking amazing. Plus this might be one of those albums that takes a long time to grow on me. I gave Benny, and his obnoxious fairy-dance, time to grow on me (and I'm sure he's the greatest guy since Fred Fuckin' Rogers) but he just does not coincide with everything I used to love about this band. Somebody call Jay Palumbo and tell him it's time to start making music (and thrashing around on stage like the music actually means something to you) again. Rock hard, rock salt. I'm out.

Kurt_F (April 29, 2003)

When I saw them in February, Benny never opened his eyes except for maybe one time. It was funny. That guy looks like a 1970's mod-rocker who does way too much heroin. Chris looks like a cracked out, not as skinny Moby. But what a great band though. After they played, as they were taking thier stuff to the van, Benny busted out a tin of Altoids and was handing them out to people on the way to the van, and he was *so* serious about it. It was funny.

Anonymous (April 29, 2003)

one can only imagine how much YOUR older brother sucks then.

Anonymous (April 29, 2003)

I agree. Scott makes attempts to be civil, his brother comes off as a wannabe scenester.


evildeadalive (April 29, 2003)

Scott, your older brother sucks.

Anonymous (April 29, 2003)

Good band

Anonymous (April 29, 2003)

roger that...i'm a 25 year old louisville native that was first introduced to an "emo" sound by Split Lip (later Chamberlain kiddos)and more influentially by Falling Forward many many years ago, probably while most of the readers of this website were in their early elementary school years if even out of diapers...and it continues to be one of my favorites...US Songs was also incredible...so I guess from what i have heard from this album i am the proverbial "older brother"...i will still get this album though just b/c i think Higdon's voice is great, and i don't hate on them for being creative and growing up, hell i have but i still have a passion for music much as they do and that is all that's important, I think it comes through in their shows and albums

pope_schlomo (April 29, 2003)

This score is for the cover art. at least smear some ashes on it for that real fire look.

(we don't need no water)

Anonymous (April 29, 2003)

I really do not like this band. I saw them at KFest 2 years ago, and thought it was nothing more than whiny noise.


Anonymous (April 29, 2003)

my life perfectly aligns with the "older brother!" You are completely correct on all accounts. The old Elliott was the most amazing and stunning band I may have ever seen. The new Elliott is some sort of sick joke on the old band. It still isn't the worst thing in the world, though.

Anonymous (April 29, 2003)

Jeez...How old am I?

I think that I was a year out of college when the first Elliot record was released. I have to laugh when I picture your "older" brother going to college when False Cathedrals first hit the streets, thinking "I just don't like this as much as when I was 15 and US Songs was the bomb."

You punk kids are so cute.

chimericalburst (April 29, 2003)

the best actually, is seeing elliott high. wow. can't wait to hit that shit again.


Anonymous (April 29, 2003)

Wow, my older brother was the person who got me into Elliot, he also got me into them around the time that he entered college, when False Cathedrals came out. Only, he liked that album, a lot. I do too, it's pretty great, and I'm looking foward to this one too. Is the music on here like that one song, "Bleed In, Breathe Out?" Oh yeah, whatever happened to In Transit?

-EL Vaquero

CaptainCrunch (April 29, 2003)

This album is fantastic. I love the way it flows from beginning to end.

Anonymous (April 29, 2003)

How did you know my older brothers were both named Elliott?

Anonymous (April 29, 2003)

i absolutely loved false cathedrals and their show at the first uniterean in philly over the summer was one of the best i've ever attended. i'm psyched as hell to get this album.

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