I've been waiting on this review, because the general feeling about this album and my opinion were so entirely different when it first came out. The general feeling was disappointment. I was wondering if I was overrating the album, because I'd met The Cribs a few days before.
After a fortnight, I don't think I was. This album is a great one, sounding maturer than The Cribs' three previous albums, with Johnny's guitar adding a new, more practised layer to the music, which also gives Ignore the Ignorant longevity in the CD player.
After catchy opener, but possible weak point, 'Cheat On Me', Ignore the Ignorant only gets better. 'We Were Aborted' is a more political track, the lyrics a real step forward from albums before, and Johnny's guitar adding interest. How anyone can say that Johnny's guitar stifles proceedings, I don't understand, because Ryan Jarman's raw guitar style still shines despite the addition of a glossier, more precise guitar. In fact, I think the two sounds complement each other better than most bands' guitars do, sharing and harmonising rather than squabbling for space in the mix.
I heard the word 'filler' being thrown around with this album. I wouldn't class any of the album as filler - every track has its moments, and its place on the album. My favourites include 'Emasculate Me', a track in which the sudden chorus and powerful but unusual lyrics combine for something nearing perfection, 'Save Your Secrets', a very tender and harmony-based song which comes as a welcome burst of calm, and the very Sonic Youth influenced 'City of Bugs', packed with noise and intense sound, carried by Ryan's sing-song voice and abstract lyrics.
The third track is possibly my favourite: 'We Share the Same Skies' reminds a little of earlier EP B-side 'Kind Words From The Broken-Hearted', supported by a wonderful opening riff, the sound of synthesised organ (which goes so well in contrast with rock guitars) and a soaring chorus.
Maybe there are fans too indie for the indie - fans who don't like the idea of famous Marr's inclusion, and so search for bad points. He hasn't made them sound like The Smiths. Maybe that's me being cynical about their cynicism. Whatever it is, I think The Cribs grown up lyrically, musically and emotionally, and the transition has been great. Getting better with age.