• Record Label: V2
  • Release Date: Feb 21, 2006
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 25
  2. Negative: 1 out of 25
  1. Few albums are this evocative, and 'Leaders of the Free World' is a thing of rare beauty indeed.
  2. Elbow have always been the most intelligent band in Britain. Now they're the most exciting, too. [#12, p.91]
  3. Right now Elbow are hitting an emotional pitch no one else is managing; one more personal and more potent than those that might be considered their competition.
  4. 91
    Rife with acid-burn guitars, levee-breaking drums, and vocals that recall Peter Gabriel at his wooziest. [Feb 2006, p.87]
  5. The gloom-rock tunes are as sophisticated as ever. [24 Feb 2006, p.64]
  6. Leaders Of The Free World contains songs as heavy and epic as the neo-prog of Elbow's first two albums, but it's strongest at its quietest.
  7. A... winning blend of seemingly spontaneous, humanised warmth and brooding, existential contemplation.
  8. This is certainly no party album, and its colours are almost exclusively monochrome, but its majesty reigns supreme. [Sep 2005, p.112]
  9. Retains Elbow's best qualities - embittered romanticism and pretty, twisty melodies - while infusing them with hooks galore.
  10. 80
    [A] deft combination of emotional intimacy and musical ambition. [Oct 2005, p.108]
  11. Endearingly sorrowful without descending into outright misery, Leaders Of The Free World is exactly what we the listeners should expect from a band's third album.
  12. Leaders Of The Free World is an ambitious and beautiful album that confirms Elbow as one of the bands of our generation.
  13. 80
    Elbow's lifeblood is equal parts rain and alcohol. [Mar 2006, p.111]
  14. Leaders of the Free World is a bit more rock & roll than not, with guts and heart, because Elbow have finally embraced their powerful, surrounding space this time out.
  15. A mostly brilliant, though occasionally lackluster, album.
  16. Leaders Of The Free World would seem by-the-book Brit rock, if it weren't for Guy Garvey. Gruff but generous, with a voice like Peter Gabriel minus the ego, Garvey masters the role of sensitive frontman by staying grounded. [Feb/Mar 2006, p.104]
  17. It's probably the worst Elbow album yet.
  18. Why, pray tell, did Elbow decide to start sounding less like Radiohead rip-offs and more like midlife-crisis Travis?
User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 66 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 39
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 39
  3. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. Dec 7, 2012
    8
    This record fits in neatly with the rest of Elbow's back catalogue. Not much on it to distinguish it from their others but as usual theThis record fits in neatly with the rest of Elbow's back catalogue. Not much on it to distinguish it from their others but as usual the quality of the songwriting is excellent. Because their records are all pretty similar, it's hard to pick my favourite/least favourite, but I think "The Seldom Seen Kid" is really the place to go if your looking to get into this band. Full Review »
  2. Apr 27, 2011
    6
    Elbow is consistently very good, but this is easily their weakest album. It's not without its share of great songs, though. "GreatElbow is consistently very good, but this is easily their weakest album. It's not without its share of great songs, though. "Great Expectations" is gorgeous, one of the band's most beautiful pieces, but it can't save the album from feeling a bit off. The band aims for a more upbeat vibe, but their success is mixed. Fortunately, they end up getting it right on the Seldom Seen Kid. Full Review »
  3. glynw
    Aug 2, 2009
    10
    When bush and bliar are held to account for war crimes,and sentenced,michael moors makes the film.and the title track--leaders of the free When bush and bliar are held to account for war crimes,and sentenced,michael moors makes the film.and the title track--leaders of the free world'then we are cleansed. Full Review »