Idlewild are a hard band to keep track of. The rugged Scots started out as a noisy punk band, with a sound famously described as like 'a flight of stairs falling down a flight of stairs'. Over the years, however, they've gradually grown much more mature and mellow, to the point where they now resemble nothing so much as the 1980s model of REM. In fact, anyone disappointed with recent offerings from Michael Stipe and co should check out this album - they'll find its sweeping, melancholic pop tunes pleasantly familiar. Prompted by his recent relocation to New York, there's a curiously bleak quality to Roddy Woomble's literate lyrics - but thankfully, the churning guitars and muscular melodies save his songs from being too depressing. Emotionally mature and richly produced, this is a substantial piece of work that becomes more addictive with every listen.