Parlophone - 2002 – 38 minutes

The best emo album never to come from America? Quite an accolade but Idlewild have grown up and into it on 'The Remote Part'. The thrashouts of earlier material now seem an awful long time ago, replaced instead by a skill for balancing the rough and the smooth behind singer Roddy Woomble's emotive lyrics.

The aggression on opening duo 'You Had the World in Your Arms' and 'A Modern Way of Letting Go', is brilliantly contrasted by the soul searching of the two songs which follow, a shifting of moods which continues until the close.

It's an album which sounds like it could've come out any time in the last 15 years but its crossover appeal means that people could be split in eleven different ways on what their favourite track is. It even closes with a poem from Scottish legend Edwin Morgan, a move which would seem like the height of pretension on other people's records but here just sounds like the perfect way to sum up what's gone before.

Intimate enough to mean something different to everyone and big enough to give Idlewild the audience they deserve, bet every cherished piece of vinyl you own that you won't hear the likes of 'The Remote Part' again this year.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: You Held the World in Your Arms - A Modern Way of Letting Go - American English - I Never Wanted - (I Am) What I Am Not - Living in a Hiding Place - Out of Routine - Century After Century - Tell Me Ten Words - Stay the Same - In Remote Part/Scottish Fiction