Elbow - Fugitive Motel
Elbow proved they were as good as their critics suggested by releasing Cast Of Thousands, a sophomore album equally as intense and yet strangely uplifting as debut Asleep In The Back, and they continue the promotion of their second effort with Fugitive Motel, the second single to be lifted after the Top 20 success of Fallen Angel.
Available on three formats, which consist of two CD singles and one DVD, Fugitive Motel contains a decent array of B-sides for fans.
The first CD of the set features the album version of Fugitive Motel, which is a surprising choice for second single considering there are far punchier cuts on Cast Of Thousands, even if the chosen selection is an epic five minute study of brooding refuge that sits nicely at the top of the Elbow sound definition. Track Two is a brilliant acoustic version of Switching Off, one of the more popular selections from the album. The obligatory remix comes in the form of Andy Cato’s mix of Ribcage, which transforms the song into a gigantic synthesizer chord epic weighing in at nine minutes.
CD Two contains an RJD2 mix of Fugitive Motel, which is worth a listen or two but doesn’t necessarily provide the same musical impact as the original mix. New track Love Blown Down follows proceedings nicely, even if it lacks much of the spark of Cast Of Thousands and is pure B-side fodder. The Kinobe mix of Ribcage is chilled out enough to provide some interest, but again it fails to add any further dimensions to the track.
An alternative animated video directed by Soup Collective is provided in DVD format of Fugitive Motel and is a slow, meandering animation consisting of degraded forties-style artwork. It’s interesting on first glances, but slowly outstays its welcome. The September 70 remix of Fugitive Motel is a more transient, stripped down mix of the song, made more eerie and alienated by the remix values of the production. It’s possible the better mix of the title track featured over the three releases. It’s backed with photographs of the band in session. More Home Grown Miniatures is a collection of video footage of the band recording the album, and even Doves’ Jimi Goodwin can be seen singing on the backing track.
On the whole, there is relatively little to offer for anyone but the die-hard Elbow fan, as there is only one new track featured on the B-sides and the DVD video included leaves much to be desired. Admirers of the track Fugitive Motel would be better advised to shell out for Cast Of Thousands, as each track reaches the same levels of quality as the single choice in question.