User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 48 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 48
  2. Negative: 3 out of 48

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  1. Mar 10, 2011
    A little bit more stripped back than the Seldom Seen Kid, it manages to pack in more subtlety and as such can make it a more interesting affair (though I have to admit I miss some of the sounds off Seldom). Just as the critics have said, Elbow have done it again, if you're a fan they've just done exactly what you expect from them, made another brilliant album that doesn't settle for cookie-cutter songs and is full of highs and lows, soaring choirs and pattering beats.
    The start of the album definitely has the strongest songs in my eyes, though after more listens perhaps the less bombastic and stand-out songs towards the end will make a bigger impression on me.
    My highlights? Lippy Kids, With Love and Open Arms.

    If you have a heart, buy it ;).
  2. Apr 12, 2011
    An album filled with great rhythms, lyrics, and so much more. I think I could write an essay containing 500-800 words but that would be boring to read since this is no place to do that (I'l just live it for the Final Exam). The first time I listened to "Elbow" was before a year and i was listening to "Seldom Seen Kid" and was amazed. Fortunately they did it again and this time it is a bit "messier" but still a great album no doubt about it. I think that Elbow is a raising band and in a decade they'll be a big and successful band (if they keep it going). Furthermore, if you ever listened to Radiohead, Arcade Fire, The National, etc. and liked it than you'll like this album too. If you're having doubts on buying this album, doubt no more and go to any music shop and buy it.... You won't regret it. Expand
  3. Mar 28, 2011
    Elbow manages to sound powerful yet real subtle at the same time and that's what I really like about them. This is a good record with beautiful lyrics and wonderful vocals by Guy Garrvey. The Stand out track is Lippy Kids. The vocals on that track are very powerful. All In All, Elbow is good indie pop that should really be listened too if your a genre fan. B
  4. May 29, 2011
    "Build A Rocket Boys" is a smart continuation of Elbow's valuable creative catalogue, with some distinguished vocal performances from Guy Garvey. Although lacking a couple of the priceless tunes from previous long players, Elbow will continue to gently gain positive acclaim for their sonic consistency.
  5. May 17, 2011
    Before I begin, Dayjob, if you are inquiring about the score of other reviews, how is a 5 a B+..just to wonder.

    This is a light Elbow Album. If you like the song The Bird and Open Arms, you'll enjoy this. If you dislike their slower music, you'll dislike this album.
    If you are in the middle, it is simple. They posted a preview of all of their songs both on youtube and their main page. You
    can hear the entire album live on multiple people's accounts and this works also.

    I recommend it as "The Birds" is probably my favorite new track of the year. Some ok songs but the majority are excellent and they definitely outweigh the rest.

    8.5/10, round up as Metacritic doesn't allow 8.5's, 9/10
  6. Mar 11, 2011
    While less immediate, "Build a Rocket Boys" still clears all the hurdles set by the "Seldom Seen Kid". Subtlety is their only fault. At about 3 minutes in you know they still have the mature gravitas of there past albums. Though, at times the album becomes too much a vehicle for the complex orchestrations of the band. In the end "Build a Rocket Boys!" is as all Elbow albums always are...Lovely. Expand
  7. Mar 14, 2011
    Am I alone in believing that the mainly wonderful Elbow are actually following a gently descending trajectory with each successive album?

    To the people with score this a 9 or a 10 i pose the question of how you rate "Asleep in the back", or "Cast of thousands". I can only assume that, a la Spinal Tap, your gauge goes up to 11 or 12.......

    The interesting and original instrumentation, and
    Guy Garvey's lyricism, are not bad exactly, but - not as inspired as early Elbow - it's all faintly, dare i say it - bland??

    Yet, with the success of TSSK, all the reviewers seem to feel they have to describe this blandness as subtlety. Surely only evidence of "Johnny-come-latelys" who have never actually explored the back catalogue, or herding instinct........ Not a bad album, B+ , can do better.
  8. Mar 15, 2011
    This is an album that was built on less is more, and what you get when you hear it for itself is their best album to date! This is such a genuine piece of music that is built on honest feelings and memories then expounded on with a genuine creativity that could only be Elbow. That last two albums although more mainstream, and their most popular, had a few tracks that didn't make my cut. This from start to finish is pure gold and cements Guy Garvey as one of the best writers of our time. I signed up with this site, although a constant visitor, as this was worth sharing with those that might be still on the fence. Expand
  9. Apr 12, 2011
    I joined MetaCritic for the sole purpose of writing an honest review of this album. It sucks. I bought this hoping to find two or three songs that could compare to "The Bones of You," "Fugitive Motel," or "Forget Myself." I didn't get any of that. Every song is sappy and slow. I got in to this band last year and listened to them nonstop for a month. I bought this album without having heard a single song. Uh, mistake. If you want to sit in a corner, contemplate your place in the world, and suck your thumb, this album is for you. Elbow, you let me down big time. Expand
  10. May 17, 2011
    Elbow continue to produce diverse and beautiful music. The Manchester band have crafted another album that flows effortlessly, melding styles with almost otherworldly skill. In "Lippy Kids" and "Dear Friends", they have crafted maybe their two finest songs to date.
  11. Jun 30, 2011
    I suppose I believe that the only reason the few naysayers are disenchanted with this outing is that Elbow has become expert. These tracks are so well crafted, so purposefully moving... So effortless is Build A Rocket Boys! that it seems as though they dreamed it up in its perfect state. The dissenters just miss the elbow grease.
  12. Jul 12, 2011
    A rather messy attempt to follow up the acclaim of The Seldom Seen Kid with some fan-pleasing, feelgood ballads. Sadly they have followed thier incredible honesty and power from tracks like Leaders of the Free World and Grounds for Divorce with a watery, overly happy section of major-chord gruel. However, the closing track "Dear Friends" offers one correct point that really did the entire album proud and nearly made up for it. Expand
  13. Dec 12, 2011
    A good album although I did find it a tad disappointing follow up to The Seldom Seen Kid. Probably Elbows 3 best record. It has got some really lovely, heartfelt tracks on it but oeverall just lacks the power of some of their other efforts.

Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 26
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 26
  3. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Sep 13, 2011
    There are too many golden slumbers ("The Night Will Always Win"), and since the snapping and grandiose arrangement of "High Ideals" passes for the pulse quickener on Rocket, tempo could vary more, as it does in the banging build of "Open Arms," another British best in any decade.
  2. Apr 14, 2011
    As with earlier records, Build A Rocket Boys! is touched by ambitious, intuitive invention. [Apr. 2011, p. 92]
  3. Apr 12, 2011
    It isn't the type of album that will easily find its way into the hearts of those in need of a quicker, simpler fix.