The Rockfeedback A-Z of Underrated Records: Electrelane - The Power Out
27 Nov 2008
"the reason that this particular effort can have the word 'underrated' attached to it in the first place is not because it's not rated at all - it's certainly a 'critically acclaimed' record. no, it's because it's not viewed as a classic record; it's not huge..."
The Rockfeedback A-Z of Underrated Records is an ever expanding guide to albums, beloved by our writers if not the world at large, that we think you should know about. Records on the list are present in virtue of fulfilling a number of deliberately vague criteria. These can range from the LPs being unfairly slated at the time despite being fantastic, their being lost classics authored by underground artists that have failed to reach the audience they deserve, or true gems unjustly overshadowed by the huge commercial success of an artists' other work. It is our hope that the list will expand into being an exciting guide to collecting life changing music that might not feature in your usual 'The Greatest 100 Records You Must Listen to BEFORE YOU DIE' run downs, and that it will be enjoyed with all the enthusiasm and good natured humour with which it is intended.
It might perhaps be an obvious choice for an Electrelane record; The Power Out is the probably the band's most known LP out of a backlog of albums that are all at least four-out-of-five fantastic. However, the reason that this particular effort can have the word 'underrated' attached to it in the first place is not because it's not rated at all - it's certainly a 'critically acclaimed' record (even we originally awarded it a full five stars HERE). No, it's because it's not viewed as a classic record; it's not huge.
In short, it needs to be more appreciated and it needs more love - because it's one of the best albums of the last ten years. And here's an opinion that might get me into trouble more here: but it's also a real landmark for women in rock music, and more specifically independent progressive rock music in Britain and beyond. I don't mean to come across as sexist or at all condescending to women when I say this, but groups of females playing artful and independent spirited rock music don't come around as often as they perhaps should, which is of course no good at all. This record, the highlight of Electrelane's unfortunately all too short career, is thus hopefully a message that this should perhaps be something that should change.
Anyway, I don't wish to labour the "girl power" (God, I'm going to get destroyed for this) card any further, because this is just an amazing record any which way you look at it. They do cool as f**k blasts of power-pop like 'On Parade', they do extended all out prog instrumentals like 'Love Builds Up', and they even do Welsh choral choir songs with 'The Valleys' (a stunning vocal effort from a band who, before this, were an almost entirely instrumental concern).
The Power Out is a fantastic work of musical genius from start to finish, a record of the sort to leave ears and minds delighted, and tear ducts trembling - so love it, cherish it and rate it higher.