Universal acclaim - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. The Seldom Seen Kid is a stunning record, a career-best from a band whose consistency has seldom been matched by any British indie band this decade.
  2. The Seldom Seen Kid finds Elbow maturing into their sonic ambitions, adding a sorely missed depth to their ever-present innovation. [Summer 2008]
  3. The achievement of The Seldom Seen Kid is that Elbow manage to be both incredibly consistent and perpetually improving.
  4. The Seldom Seen Kid keeps the band on this upward trajectory.
  5. 90
    It is rare to come across a record that possesses such refinement and stylization, but The Seldom Seen Kid excels at both and was more than worth the wait. [Spring 2008, p.94]
  6. As ever with Elbow, the album is too long, ever ready to make room for more lush melancholy. But beneath the superficial drabness and gloom is a band as diverse as any of its flashier contemporaries.
  7. 'One Day Like This' rolls out an exultant, almost fulsome, bright blue-sky assurance that really, no matter how gloomy you might feel, a lovely day can put an altogether better complexion on things. If anyone else voiced such sentiments, you'd rightly want to reach into the stereo and slap them hard, but that Elbow make the affirmation ring touchingly true is a testament to their sweet sincerity and principled candour.
  8. 80
    The album works as whole--beginning with an eruptive blast of noise and ending with the gentle farewell that is 'Friend Of Ours.'
  9. The Seldom Seen Kid is Elbow's most self-assured and enjoyable album so far.
  10. Elbow have hardly stepped out of their comfort zone here, but then their comfort zone has always been oddly unsettling. They're still burning: slowly, maybe, but stronger than ever. [Apr 2008, p.114]
  11. 80
    Nicer than Pulp, less sappy than Coldplay, Elbow excel at meticulous orchestral pop that doesn't take itself too seriously.
  12. Elbow sound beautifully understated rather than underwhelming, less underachieving than desperately undervalued.
  13. Though the album's most overt trait is tenderness, the hetero-waltz 'The Fix' (featuring Richard Hawley on vocals) and the Zeppelin-esque 'Grounds for Divorce' provide a certain masculine muscle, making Kid feel like a male sibling of the Cardigans' equally exquisite 'Long Gone Before Daylight.'
  14. The combo of ethereal prog rock and lead singer Guy Garvey’s hushed, careworn words couldn’t be finer than on mournful, horn-laden 'Weather To Fly,' while sing-along stadium-ready cliche 'One Day Like This' is the only discernible reminder of why I avoided them in the first place.
  15. Their fourth album picks up where 2005's "Leaders of the Free World" left off.
  16. The singer's Mancunian bleariness is such that the bittersweet barfly sing-along 'Grounds for Divorce' rings effortlessly real, while the quasi-spiritual questing of 'Weather to Fly' gets reined in by the sobering image of "pounding the streets where my father's feet/Still ring from the walls."
  17. Established fans will be glad to hear Elbow’s sound further maturing; newcomers will hopefully realise that this particular seldom-seen-kid should definitely be heard.
  18. The ebb and flow of the disc feels like it's advancing some unknowable plot, always the sign of a well sequenced disc but also the bridge between songs like the lovely 'Mirrorball' and the bluesy (in the get-the-Led-out sense) 'Grounds for Divorce.'
  19. It’s one that we can all get in on and enjoy, as Elbow has once again proved that it’s a band that’s looking forward and doing things in its own inimitable way.
  20. The good news, evident from the very first listen, is a welcome diversity of songwriting and arrangements, on an otherwise basic pop rock record.... The bad news is that diversity alone cannot salvage the album from being their least spontaneous effort yet.
  21. 60
    The bass-fuzz stomp and chain-gang holler of 'Grounds for Divorce' couldn't be more immediate, Guy Garvey refusing to let emotional intelligence blackball a decnt tune. [Apr 2008, p.106]
  22. If only you didn’t spoil these tender moments that seem to make my heart want to burst out my chest by goofing around all the time.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 74 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. Jan 3, 2012
    A Masterpiece! Brilliant. This is literally my favourite album of all time. Guy Garvey is a genius and should be worshipped as a God! I do not have a favourite song as i love every single one equally as if they were my children. Full Review »
  2. Dec 13, 2011
    A beautiful album, so many memorable tracks. This deserved all the success and acclaim it got. The only 2 tracks I don't love are the opening and closing ones, everything in between is magical. Full Review »
  3. Sep 27, 2011
    Simply masterful! Every song on this album is fantastic! Grounds for Divorce lured me in and I'm still listening to this album two years later. Front-man Guy Garvey's voice is the perfect combination of melodic and unique; maybe a little gritty. He sets the stage for a very emotional album that will excite and lift your spirit. Even the weakest songs are better than just about anything on the radio. Full Review »