Review of Elliot Minor's album Solaris
Formerly known as The Academy, York quintet Elliot Minor had a top ten album with their self-titled debut in 2008, which spawned several top 30 singles. Like Fightstar they provided a bridge between pop and alternative music fans, with their rock credentials backed by appearances at Download and Leeds & Reading Festivals.
Featuring a continuation of their trademark blend of classical and rock styles, 'Solaris' begins with the brooding 'The Dancer', which gathers pace before guitars come crunching in. A solid start, it is followed by the urgency of 'I Believe', which seems to borrow heavily from Muse's recent 'Exogenesis' symphony. It lacks a quality hook though and unfortunately this seems to characterise the album. 'Better Than The Courtroom' is a case in point, a moment of pop it fails to grasp the senses, while 'Discover (Why The Love Hurts)' is unremarkable despite several dynamic changes. Vocalist Alex Davies delivers a combination of choir boy and angst which doesn't really become affecting, the title track being a prime example of this, and when the harmonies kick in it does seem as if it could be any boy band with a heavier backing track. The lasting impression is that of no impression, with memorable moments on the album being extremely scarce.