Back to the Web seems like the Elf Power album for the adult contemporaries. The energy found on earlier efforts such as The Winter Is Coming and When the Red King Comes is here muted at best. This is not, however, to say that it’s a bad record. As Andrew Rieger and company continue to explore eastern influences and microtonal harmonies, it may be best said that Back To the Web is a mature offering from the elves. The album has a fantastic flow, which could also be interpreted as monotonous. The vocal melodies seem to linger around the same few notes on each song.
The record as a whole maintains a mid-tempo pace, but added instrumentation from regular Athens players John Fernandes, Heather McIntosh, Deanna Varagonna, and Julien Derocher gives each song that warm, family feeling. In addition, Rieger used a twelve-string guitar to write most of the material here, which contributes largely to the aforementioned microtonal nature of the songs. Favorite tracks include “An Old Familiar Scene”, for the driving tom-heavy beat provided by Josh Lott, and “All the World Is Waiting” for the raucous sing-along feel that can’t be found anywhere else on this record. It should be also noted that these guys put on an awesome live show, and several of these tracks really come alive in concert in a way that doesn’t grab you on record. Few other bands are as good at putting together a set spanning nearly a decade, and capable of pleasing even the biggest fan.