ELWAY: The Best of All Possible Worlds: CD

May 24, 2022

Right off the bat, this feels like Elway’s magnum opus. The first track is an epic build up. It starts out feeling like a church service full of ethereal harmonies, before breaking into their well-worn path of high intensity pop punk. The song “The English Wishbone” is a fucking banger. They put down a beautiful arrangement with layered melodies that are allowed to breathe, while also turning up the gas in the chorus. They also do such a wonderful job storytelling in their songs. Lyrically, they create a poetic pastiche with tons of heart. And they know just when to slow down and get intimate. I hear some Lawrence Arms in the vocal delivery here and there. Speaking of TLA, I almost asked if that was Deanna Belos of Sincere Engineer doing backup vocals on “The Rest Is Posthumous,” but there’s no mistaking that voice. There’s also a moment in the bridge of “Maximum Entropy” where Tim Browne sounds an awful lot like Little Dave Merriman and I’m super okay with that. I don’t know what else to say besides it’s really pretty and feels important to share with friends. Records like this make living through a pandemic slightly easier. In a way, I’m really glad that people had serious time to sit with their thoughts and feelings. As a result, we got records like this. Full of pain, hope, love, and guitar solos. –Kayla Greet (Red Scare)