The members of Idlewild were barely in their twenties when they recorded their debut, Hope Is Important. Quite taken with the grunge surge of the early '90s, distorted guitars and textured basslines mosh among Roddy Woomble's screeching vocals, which are also abrasive and wounded. The first half of Hope Is Important has a high-speed disposition of punk chaos reminiscent of Nirvana's Bleach. "You've Lost Your Way" and "4 People Do Good" rampage with angst-ridden themes, and classic vocalic disarray and complexity. "I'm Happy to Be Here Tonight" is where Idlewild truly shines -- an indie anthem wholeheartedly passionate. They may be from the working-class mass of Scotland, but Idlewild's members are intellects with a twist. Hope Is Important exudes the fiery nature of four young guys yearning to make their own way in modern rock despite the popularity of the three-chord riff. Lyrically, the poetry behind such wordplay isn't as apparent as it would be on their follow-up, 100 Broken Windows. But it's there, and it's enjoyably humorous.
AllMusic Review by MacKenzie Wilson