• Band Name: Elbow
  • Record Label: V2
  • Release Date: Jan 27, 2004
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 23
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 23
  3. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Cast of Thousands is a great record, beautiful and emotionally powerful as well as musically inventive... a refinement and extension of their vision that will emerge as one of the best records of the year.
  2. [An] elegant mix of jazz, electronica and lush gospel choruses.
  3. 91
    Finds these thoughtful Brits exploring even more emotional territory. [Mar 2004, p.96]
  4. A record that anyone who’s ever demanded anything interesting from rock music should hear.
  5. 90
    It's human where Radiohead are impenetrable, but complex where Coldplay are banal.... Elbow remain unquantifiably great. [Sep 2003, p.100]
  6. 88
    Possesses a rare beauty and a singluar honesty. [#9, p.111]
  7. Just when this occasionally draggy album threatens to give in to its own malaise, the band interjects a lound, jarring organ or jagged noise. [23/30 Jan 2004, p.98]
  8. Unless you are severely depressed the laggard pace of this record will make it very hard to sit through. Yet each track is delightfully insteresting in its own right. [#5, p.100]
  9. 80
    An album of moody, grungy pop with a distinctive British feel that could easily be one of this year's sleeper hits. [#23, p.97]
  10. One of those classy records that will sound good forever, no matter what you do with it.
  11. More so than ever, Elbow's greatest asset is that the band is capable of making big sounds without being bombastic or flashy.... The only setback? Gospel choirs.
  12. For all their generic tendencies, these are fertile minds. [Sep 2003, p.106]
  13. A nuanced masterpiece. [Feb 2004, p.88]
  14. While the first album broods, the 11 songs on this disc are mostly smooth and flowing.
  15. The song-structures possess Radiohead's abstract bent, but maintain Coldplay's engaging audience connectivity.
  16. Cast of Thousands rides the borders of sentimentality expertly-- Elbow's new-found hope in unity may seem like idealistic drivel on paper, but is carried off on record with refreshing determination.
  17. Cast of Thousands is populated by a motley crew of fringe-dwellers, outsiders and no-accounts, looking for a warm place to drink and like-minded company to occupy the waking hours -- and Guy Garvey is the right man to tell their tales.
  18. Overall, a small step up for the group, but not quite the masterpiece that they might very well be capable of.
  19. By rights, Elbow should be pretty annoying, the same kind of lardy, overblown and overrated band as their compatriots Doves.... Yet there's something rather haunting and affecting about 'Cast Of Thousands', just as there was about 2001's 'Asleep At The Back', which raises Elbow far above most of their peers.
  20. It's a grower - no doubt about that.
  21. 70
    Elbow... have let new-found bliss propel them to yet loftier heights. [Sep 2003, p.106]
  22. 70
    Their wall of sounds with lush keyboards and itchy guitars still fire strong. [Nov 2003, p.92]
  23. The rare art-rock album that comes as much from the heart as the head.
User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 33 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Dec 12, 2011
    8
    High quality throughout. Some of this sounds almost religous (in a good way). This is the record that should have made them hit the big time rather than what came after. Along with The Seldom Seen Kid, this is their best album Full Review »
  2. JoshE.
    Jun 7, 2008
    10
    A beautiful record from start to finish. This should have made them huge. Too bad for all of those who are missing it.
  3. MikeP
    Jul 11, 2007
    10
    One of the best ever.