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Idlewild: The Remote Part



Album: The Remote Part
Label: B00008NG92

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The Scottish band Idlewild staged a brief U.S. hype invasion in early 2001, following a familiar wave of fawning overseas press with the heavily promoted release of 100 Broken Windows. Seemingly dozens of acts follow a similar path every year, to the point where it's hard to separate the greats from the likes of Gay Dad, but it's a shame that Idlewild couldn't find the ubiquitous radio airplay it deserved. A brief, buzzy, ridiculously ingratiating collection of alternate-universe MTV sensations, 100 Broken Windows dispenses hard-charging guitar-rock (with the occasional swooning ballad for texture) to great effect, so it's nice to see the group get another chance to attract a massive audience in America. Unfortunately, The Remote Part is merely good-but-not-great, though it does feature a few nicely driven rockers ("You Held The World In Your Arms," "Stay The Same"), alongside a plentiful assortment of ballads and forgettable mid-tempo also-rans like "Century After Century." Roddy Woomble remains an engaging frontman throughout, but his delivery tends to be less idiosyncratic, and therefore less compelling, than in the past. At its best–on the swooning "American English" and the breathlessly catchy "Out Of Routine"–The Remote Part nicely duplicates its predecessor's heady rush, but too much of it is merely passable. Of course, a passable Idlewild record with scattered highlights and no outright duds is still worth hearing: After all, there are worse sins than skating under a bar you've set almost impossibly high.