Armstrong, Craig : As If To Nothing

Composer's orchestral overload...

Craig Armstrong does orchestral swoosh arrangement

business for people like Bjork, U2,
Massive Attack and Madonna, and is thus frequently responsible

for making songs without tunes sound bloody exciting. Meanwhile,

the Grammy winner’s own album, bloody exciting as it often

becomes, is just much as you’d expect.

So there are guest vocalists – David McAlmont on the inevitably Bond

theme-esque ‘Snow’, Bono on ‘Stay (Faraway, So Close!)’,

Evan Dando on ‘Waking Up In New York’,
Mogwai on ‘Miracle’; the list literally goes on,

tailing off into King Crimson. And there are thrilling, symphonic string

arrangements all over the shop. But there’s a distance conjured by the

feeling that this is not so much an artist album than A Project –

particularly when the guest stars are in the foyer, during filler

tracks like ‘Starless II’.

No surprises, then, but you can get away with anything these days if you’ve

got a character reference from Bono.

Peter Robinson