Leaders Of The Free World

  • Record Label: V2
  • Release Date: Feb 21, 2006
User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 67 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 63 out of 67
  2. Negative: 2 out of 67

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  1. MarkM
    Oct 9, 2005
    10
    A great album, more rewarding with each listening. Elbow gets better with each release. Excellent arrangements flesh out genuine emotion.
  2. KauriT
    Jul 30, 2007
    8
    Leaders Of The Free World. That's all.
  3. Joris
    Oct 11, 2005
    9
    I like this one more than Cast of 1000 s . GREAT EXPECTATIONS imho, is maybe one of their most haunting songs they ve written. (though its a grower). Other brilliant songs include The Stops and the title song. The first 2 songs maybe are the only "weaker" tracks on the album for me, the rest is a killer
  4. KoningWoning.
    Nov 30, 2005
    6
    Definately the worst album yet. No good build-ups: semi-loud song, soft song, repeat untill end. Also a lot of songs seem to be inspired/taken from other songs. All in all I'd say they're getting worse with each release.... still they're loads better than a lot of crap that's out there...
  5. RaülJ
    Feb 14, 2006
    10
    One of the most beautiful records I ever heard
  6. DameinS
    Apr 16, 2006
    10
    Rolling Stone don't know its A$$ from its Elbow. This and Sufjan get the most rotation in my player..truly beautiful.
  7. Paulm
    Jun 2, 2006
    10
    I've been in to music since the psychedelic 60's and write reviews for a small paper in t.o. Canada. i haven't been this enthusiastic for an entire album since the prog rock days of the early 70's. a creative and lovely masterpiece worthy of an 11, "you've gone and made a beautiful hole in my heart." don't stop! paul in tweed.
  8. DecepticonPom
    Oct 19, 2005
    9
    Lushly optimistic. Their 3rd best album to date still head and shoulders above most band's 1st, second and 3rd efforts.
  9. pierreb
    Oct 24, 2005
    7
    mwa; not as good as their former albums. Can't help it, it all sounds so ...... dull. Maybe I have to listen to it a few times more..
  10. LukeM
    Sep 30, 2005
    9
    This is a very very good album. I have been a fan for sometime but sometimes Elbow is just a little bit too weird or too sweet, despite obvious talent and integrity in their stuff. In this newest album the originality is still present (even the most pop-ready song "Forget Myself" is pretty funky) but listenable and enjoyable too. The romanticism is tempered and wise (see: My Very Best). I This is a very very good album. I have been a fan for sometime but sometimes Elbow is just a little bit too weird or too sweet, despite obvious talent and integrity in their stuff. In this newest album the originality is still present (even the most pop-ready song "Forget Myself" is pretty funky) but listenable and enjoyable too. The romanticism is tempered and wise (see: My Very Best). I think Leaders is outstanding. Expand
  11. SimonV
    Feb 11, 2006
    9
    Not only the finest album from Elbow, but, more importantly, the finest album from 2005.
  12. ChrisG
    Feb 6, 2006
    9
    A handful of tracks that jump right out and get under your skin immediately, many others which take a while longer to be fully absorbed and appreciated, and two that just seem OK. But on the whole, a thing of beauty and a treat for the ears and the heart.
  13. TonyM.
    Sep 3, 2007
    9
    Cracking album this band just gets better and better. forget about bands that sound alike ELBOW are the real deal.
  14. 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 world'then we are cleansed.
  15. SimonJ
    Dec 20, 2005
    10
    2005's Masterpiece....a true work of illuminating and heartbreaking, uplifting yet soul-destroying, piece of music....if you don't like it, I guess you've never really loved and lost......
  16. Jarad
    Oct 23, 2005
    10
    The last 4 songs, and Great Expectations in particular, are simply wonderful
  17. HughM
    Sep 26, 2005
    10
    Elbow get better and better. This album is a ripper!
  18. MalC
    Jan 4, 2006
    10
    doesnt get any better than this.
  19. MichaelK
    Feb 15, 2006
    9
    This is a very warm-sounding album on which the songs reel one in upon repeated listening. One of the best albums of 2005.
  20. MartinW
    Feb 19, 2006
    10
    The second half of the album takes a bit of getting into but, once you're in..... it's great!
  21. EarlV
    Feb 22, 2006
    10
    Excellent album! So much better than the Arctic Flunkies it ain't funny. But I guess a band that sounds like Peter Gabriel backed by Talk Talk ain't fashionable enough. I also don't hear the Coldplay comparisons at all -- that's just lazy criticism by people with a limited knowledge of music.
  22. FitterHappier
    Feb 25, 2006
    10
    Lazy critics, indeed! (Watch as Rolling Stone and AP fall back to Travis? TRAVIS!?!?) Too few bands genuinely rock the way Eblow does - gritty, intelligent, varied - truly a shame that the album warranting better reviews gets outpaced by albums and artists we'll forget a year from now.
  23. ToddR
    Feb 7, 2006
    7
    Though it sometimes descends into bland Coldplay balladry, most of these songs are beautiful and inspired.
  24. matta
    Feb 7, 2006
    9
    Holy Fuck, the Alternative Press is really talking out of their ass on this one. Seriously, who did they let review this album over there. Undoubtedly someone who is a fan of the song "My Humps." This album is very strong, and landed just outside my top twenty albums of 2005. Elbow's best album to date (Just edging out Cast of Thousands) and one of the best British albums of last Holy Fuck, the Alternative Press is really talking out of their ass on this one. Seriously, who did they let review this album over there. Undoubtedly someone who is a fan of the song "My Humps." This album is very strong, and landed just outside my top twenty albums of 2005. Elbow's best album to date (Just edging out Cast of Thousands) and one of the best British albums of last year. It is a shame that one really awful review has ruined the metascore for the album. This disc is nearly as good as Playlouder says that it is, so give it a shot. Expand
  25. MikeW
    Mar 2, 2006
    9
    By turns tension and release. Always cathartic. Who would have thought they could top "Cast of Thousands". Obvious thunder grabs your ears, but quietest passages stay longest in memory. Elbow mean to make your heart and gut resonate together - a design which might not suit all, but resonate unfailingly for me. A winner.
  26. Jordan
    Mar 7, 2006
    9
    A little on the soft side. But non-the-less great album.
  27. ArjenD
    Mar 9, 2006
    10
    Together with My Morning Jacket and B.R.M.C. Elbow made 2005 a wonderful year, speaking in musical terms. The live performance in The Hague in october was wonderful.
  28. MitchM
    Oct 17, 2005
    10
    Another step forward from Elbow. The band is uniformly strong, innovative, and original, and Guy Harvey's lyrics are better than they've ever been.
  29. RichardM
    Dec 17, 2005
    10
    A very special album. how it hasn't topped every end of year list I just really don't know. Very few tracks ever written can claim to match the masterpiece that is Great Expectations.
  30. TedH
    Dec 5, 2005
    8
    If you're not enjoying this album, I can, as someone who enjoyed the first two Elbow albums but was extremely dissapointed with this one upon the first few listens: let this one grow on you for a while. I found some strong songwriting.
  31. jeffj
    Oct 31, 2005
    10
    the arrangements on this album are phenomenal -- definitely elbow's best work to date.
  32. JH
    Sep 26, 2005
    9
    This is the first album I've liked enough to leave comments on this site. If you like Elbow, you'll like the album. Some days it feels like the jump in moods (from rock to ballad at different points in the album) is a little extreme, but I still listen to each track extensively at different times of the day. I'm a loyal Elbow fan, but trying to remain impartial by giving it This is the first album I've liked enough to leave comments on this site. If you like Elbow, you'll like the album. Some days it feels like the jump in moods (from rock to ballad at different points in the album) is a little extreme, but I still listen to each track extensively at different times of the day. I'm a loyal Elbow fan, but trying to remain impartial by giving it a 9.0. Not many good songwriters have the passion in their voice that Guy Harvey does and I think that's what pulls me in. Expand
  33. AaronW
    Sep 27, 2005
    10
    I haven't been so intrigued by a new release for a while now. I've loved Elbow from the very start and have found this to be their best release. The lyrics are wonderful. How the entire album came to be is really interesting...read about it online. They basically locked themselves in a studio for a year...with a group of filmmakers, hidden cameras, etc...the import of the album I haven't been so intrigued by a new release for a while now. I've loved Elbow from the very start and have found this to be their best release. The lyrics are wonderful. How the entire album came to be is really interesting...read about it online. They basically locked themselves in a studio for a year...with a group of filmmakers, hidden cameras, etc...the import of the album is a must have because it contains a dvd companion to the album. The songs and film are a total collaborative effort...and the outcome is true creativity. I'm so impressed with where the band is going and was happy to spend 32 bucks on the import. The FALL CD for me so far. ENJOY. Expand
  34. JohnH
    Mar 18, 2006
    8
    The album Coldplay wished they made... at least the first 6 songs before it wanders off into same-sameyville (otherwise known as X&Y.)
  35. TomB
    Mar 23, 2006
    10
    What Rolling Stone Lacks is top-quality reviewers. And as for Alternative Press...well, look at some of the bands they big up!
  36. hobhob
    Mar 25, 2006
    10
    Can't recommend this album enough. Still listening to it months after buying it. Not had an album make such an impact on me since the Bends.
  37. TomW
    Dec 14, 2005
    10
    Truly great album!!!
  38. 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. "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.
  39. 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 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.
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. A... winning blend of seemingly spontaneous, humanised warmth and brooding, existential contemplation.
  2. Why, pray tell, did Elbow decide to start sounding less like Radiohead rip-offs and more like midlife-crisis Travis?