'Asleep In The Back' bewitched many with its balancing act of slow-building emotional Mancunian rock with a maturity absent from many debut albums. 'Cast Of Thousands' plucks the heart strings further still. Opening song 'Ribcage' and 'Grace Under Pressure' feature the London Community Gospel Choir and they get away it with it too; these are big-hearted anthems par excellence. The first single 'Fallen Angel' is actually rather simple; some heads-down strumming and a repetitive rhythm topped off with the soothing and brooding timbre of Guy Garvey. Recognising the fact that the formula paid off the first time, 'Fugitive Motel' and 'Switching Off' are graduates from the same wounded and vulnerable rock school as 'Red' and 'Powder Blue' from the first album. It is probably a compliment that their music could quite easily provide the musical accompaniment to a gritty BBC drama because this reveals their connectivity with human feelings. So it's not a shock that when the group try something different - the see-saw rhythm and white noise of 'Snooks (Progress Report')' and the jazz environment of 'I've Got Your Number' - they sound less convincing. The fact is Elbow seem to exist for providing a warmth and familiarity which is ultimately what people want to hear.