...a bold and profoundly independent return
'Everything Ever Written'

Idlewild's reformation was handled with typical grace. Stirring some warm memories – those live shows were pretty much a coming of age ritual for a while there – the band went back into the studio to work on fresh material.

'Everything Ever Written' is the result. Fans emboldened by their return may have hoped for a re-run of 'Captain' or even '100 Broken Windows' but the reality is that Idlewild is no longer that band – with new members, new influences and the benefit of experience they're making something stronger, more mature. Not better, per se, but certainly different.

Not that the new material fails to rock. 'Collect Yourself' finds Roddy Woomble operating in rare abandon, while 'Nothing I Can Do About It' has a glacial sense of grit.

Often, though, the band are working in introspective, folk influenced climes perhaps more in keeper with latter albums such as 'Make Another World' and Woomble's own solo releases. 'Every Little Means Trust' has an affectionately Celtic slant, while 'So Many Things To Decide' even finds Idlewild utilising a Hammond organ wash under their bracingly sympathetic songwriting.

An expansive, at times daring, return, 'Everything Ever Written' works best at its most direct. 'Come On Ghost' was a fine comeback single, tailor made for those emotional Scottish shows while 'All Things Different' boasts a wonderfully edgy vocal.

Acting both as a summation of their career to date and an expose of potential future paths, 'Everything Ever Written' finds Idlewild relaxing into the process of becoming Idlewild once more.

Re-capturing the fire of that initial run, the band are able to point this energy in fresh directions, accepting new challenges in the process. A warm, endearing release, 'Everything Ever Written' is a bold and profoundly independent return.

7/10

Related: In Conversation - Idlewild

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