Idlewild has only now become a group of musical statesmen. Their fourth album, The Remote Part, captures a divinely aged five-piece, an aware group of young men who are inspired by countless works of American literature while also influenced by their everyday life in their native Scotland. Focusing on the literal has humbled Idlewild, and emotional, punk-inspired tantrums have been forgotten. Look at their 1999 debut, Hope Is Important: It's an angry, grunge-soaked songbook that drowned frontman Roddy Woomble's vocal charm. 100 Broken Windows became a critical hit with its melodic indie-punk mix, but it was as conflicted as their previous effort. Two years on and several band changes later, the members of Idlewild have found what they've been searching for -- a beautiful calmness and a comfortable spot to reflect upon -- and The Remote Part flawlessly does the job. From the charging, radiant chorus of "You Held the World in Your Arms" to "Live in a Hiding Place"'s sweeping melodies, you'll sense that Idlewild is content with what the band has created. The crystal-edged "(I Am) What I Am Not" delves back into Idlewild's signature crunchy style with class, but it's the ambitious epic "American English" that defines The Remote Part's quick-witted desire. Woomble is a crooner, so convinced that what's happening in the song is true and tangible. It's obvious in the bandmembers' earlier work that they were headed to this point in their career. There's much to be said about growing up, especially from your late teens to your late twenties. The Remote Part naturally works with Idlewild's maturation, knowing it could all be different later on.
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AllMusic Review by MacKenzie Wilson