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October 11, 2007

Idlewild – Scottish Fiction : Best Of 1997 – 2007

Title:
Rating:
3 out of 5 stars

Thom Kirwan

This new release from Scottish Indie-rockers Idlewild contains 17 tracks spanning all 5 of their LP's but sadly nothing from the 1998 "Captain" EP.

Every Idlewild album so far has had a distinctive sound to it, so the non-chronological track order provides an eclectic and enjoyable experience, especially when the album moves from "When I Argue I See Shapes" from their debut LP "Hope is Important" to "Love Steals Us From Loneliness" from 2005's "Warnings/Promises", where the change in Roddy's voice is so profound that it makes you wonder if they replaced him with a lookalike folk singer somewhere between the two albums. Similarly the production qualities and styles vary so wildly you would be forgiven for thinking you were listening to a Various Artists album rather than hearing a band evolve over the years.

Listening to Scottish Fiction alone you would never believe that Idlewild started off as a punk band with Roddy screaming down the mic, and this is where my only criticism of the album lies. Even though you can immediately tell which era each song is from, the songs that defined the punk/folk periods of their career are missing, omitted in favour of the singles from each album.

So overall whilst this is a great introduction to Idlewild you need to dig a bit deeper to see the whole picture, which is a shame as some of their finest moments have come from the depths of each album.


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