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Who are Bombay Bicycle Club?
Bombay Bicycle Club are a four piece indie rock band from London. They formed a band together after meeting at school. They regulary changed the band's name, but settled on Bombay Bicycle club, which is named after a chain of Indian restaurants. The band currently have three studio albums - I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose (2009), Flaws (2010) and A Different Kind of Fix (2011). They also have three Extended Plays and multiple awards including NME's "Best New Band." I love this band and really can not fault their music. I'd definetly compare them to having the same raw, folky sound to Mumford and Sons, and the vocalist Jack Steadman vocally reminds me a little bit of Paolo Nutini.
The Band Members
- Jack Steadman - Vocals, Guitar and Bass
- Jamie MacColl - Bass, Guitar, Banjo and Vocals
- Suren De Saram - Drums
- Ed Nash - Bass, Keyboard and Mandolin
Flaws is the band's second studio album. It was released mid 2010 and contains purely acoustic music, including a few cover songs. There's 11 songs on the album, all of which vary in subject matters and consist of a variety of different instruments and vocal styles, ensuring the listener doesn't get bored.
The artwork for this album is very minimalistic and quite random to be honest - see picture above.
Track 1 Rinse Me Down
This is my favourite song on the album, I listen to this pretty much every day! I love how it sounds so easy and effortless - it just kind of glides along, it's easy to listen to when i'm in any mood. If i'm sad, it cheers me up almost instantly, and if i'm happy it uplifts my mood even more. It's such a good, beautiful and flawless song! Jack's vocals in this are just amazing, so raw and gritty - you can hear the passion/emotion and the way his voice breaks at points just maximises the whole indie/folk factor. The song, in my opinion, is about one of his friend's girlfriends who is intrested him/wants to cheat on her boyfriend with him - "turning your head to mine instead, gave me the eyes". Jack wants to warn his friend but he doesn't think he will believe him because she's got him twisted around her little finger - "oh and you had him, caught like a rabbit." The song is acoustic and the instrumentals are amazing - a guitar, drums and mandolin. All go extremely well with this song keeping the mood up beat despite the slightly depressing/awkward (but amazing!) lyrics.
Track 2 Many Ways
This is probably one of my less favourite songs on the album. I do like it, it just doesn't really stick out to me and sounds quite repetitive to be honest. It's got the usual folk/indie sound to it with Jacks beautifully 'roughed up' vocals. The instrumentals keep the song sounding upbeat - but when you listen to the song it is actually quite dark. It is about death, basically - the fear of the unknown (hence the 'trembling hands' line) and the consequences of leaving behind life. The title of my review is from this song - "I've always been a coward, been a coward to this day."
Track 3 Dust On The Ground
Oh my gosh! I was so freaked out when I first heard this song. It sounds nothing like their other stuff - Jack's voice is so deep and it lacks his usual rawness and beautiful folk sounding vocals however as the song gets better we do get to hear his usual style and the deeper vocals are nice for a change I suppose. The lead guitar creates an amazing atmosphere - this song is definetly a merge of rock, indie and folk. The song is basically about (in my opinion) a past relationship. He was alot younger and too scared to commit so fobbed her off and got on with the free and single lifestyle, but now he's more mature he regrets this and still has feelings for her - "I can't hide it now." It is a very different song to their usual stuff but I still like it as it's fast paced with good lyrics and amazing instrumentals. I like the ending too as once the song is finished I kind of sit there for a few minutes in the eery silentness and think about what his relationship with her was like - is that creepy? Oh well!
Track 4 Ivy and Gold
This is an amazingly feel-good, upbeat song. It makes me feel so happy and brings a bit of sunshine into my life whenever I play it! It has a very refreshing and 'genuine' feel to it, you know? Like every word that comes of Jack's mouth about the love in his life is coming from deep in his heart. No autotuning, no backing singers, no electronic music, just Jack, his band, and some instruments. I particullary like the banjo as it keeps the rythm going and creates the whole upbeat tone of the song however doesn't over power Jack's voice. It is a song that never fails to cheer me up and takes me back to the days of village fetes and the fun fair - it's such a good song!
Track 5 Leaving Blues
This is almost a melody.. so soft, gentle.. fragile. I just want to sit on the sofa cuddled up to my boyfriend whenever I hear this song. I love it. In fact i've got a smile on my face even thinking about it. It's wonderful stuff.. whenever I feel i'm about to relapse into a state of self hate I put this on and it helps me through the day. I've had occasions when I could barely get out of bed and I stuck my earphones in with this full blast, and suprisingly enough it worked. To be fair you'd probably be mislead if you listened to it for the first time into thinking it's a depressing song as it's slow paced. It's not. It's about a long distance relationship or a man going away from home for a while but telling his partner he will remember her - hence the lines "I miss you indefinite" and "keep the thought of you aflame"
Track 6 Fairytale Lullaby
The title alone of this song put me off it immedietly however once I listened to it, it is amazing! It is a cover of the John Martyn song of the same name. I have never heard the original before and they put their own magical twist into the song. It's the kind of song that's easy to nod along to and sing along with, but apart from that it's not got much depth and it's easy to get slightly bored as it's not a very buildable song. This isn't as much of a disadvantage as it sounds - it actually makes the song quite calming - it's nice to lay there and listen to without a care in the world.
Track 7 Word By Word
This song is probably their most similar song to a Mumford and Sons song (The Cave).. the instrumentals sound almost identical at points, which isn't a bad thing at all. The guitars are really good and theirs a range of different ones - they work together nicely with the banjo in the background. The vocals are pretty minimal, there is not much depth to them and not much to say about them really. This is the sort of song that everyone would be up and dancing to at a barbeque - very upbeat and fast paced.
Track 8 Jewel
This song is enough to send shivers down my spine as soon as it starts. It's got similar instrumentals as the other songs so did not stand out to me at first however the lyrics make up for that, it's about a man looking back on a failed relationship and reminiscing about the mistakes he made. He and his then partner didn't realise how close they are/what they had, with Jack comparing it to discarding a jewel, only to discover how much it was actually worth. Quite a touching and relatable song that although sounds depressing from how I described it, is quite uplifting because it gives the message "you are not alone in feeling like this."
Track 9 My God
This starts out really unusually, it has a gorgeous piano intro and then the guitars, drums and banjo kick in, with the instrumentals and vocals building up strentgh as the song progresses. The song is about a relationship dying out - "when our flower's fading, when our stem begins to fold, I will take off quietly, like a bird that flees the cold." The drums add a really nice, different sound to the song and it's the type that is easy to sing along to/relax to. The way Jack sings the chorus is amazing, his voice is so powerful and holds such emotion.
Track 10 Flaws
This is my second favourite song from this album. I really can not describe how much I love this song. I could easily write 1,000 words plus on it, but I won't! The song features a singer called Lucy Rose. Her and Jack duet at points and at others alternate lines. Their voices go together well - Jack's strong, powerful (but with a fragile undertone) and Lucy's soft, naive sounding voice. The guitar is beautifully gentle troughout, and the lyrics are good too. The song is about a guy making a change in his life in order to be a better boyfriend.. basically changing himself so his flaws no longer exist.
Track 11 Swansea
This is the last track on the album and it seals it up well. It's another of the couple of 'different' songs. It sounds all innocent but the lyrics are quite dark. It's about a boy meeting an innocent girl (this is symbolised by the "with your bones so white"), for sex. It's full of synonyms for sex and although it is quite animalistic in points - "how I would love to gnaw, to gnaw on your bones so white", it mantains this fragile undertone, mainly due to the parts where Jack is just sort of humming along. The instrumentals, especially the keyboard are amazing. A brilliant outro that makes me want to listen to the album all over again!
A uniquely beautiful album which I will forever be a huge fan of. This band really is amazing and for that reason (and the fact that the lyrics, vocals and instrumentals are all so original, flawless and 'honest'), I give the album a 5/5!
Flaws is available from a variety of shops and websites. I got my digital copy of the album from iTunes and paid a reasonable £7.99.
Bombay Bicycle Club are back! This is the bands second album, a follow up from their award winning, critically acclaimed debut album, I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose.
Flaws, is a very different album compared to the first because the band have ditched their electric guitars for acoustic guitars because it is an all acoustic album. Many bands have tried the switch to acoustic music but havent pulled it off as we like it, but Bombay Bicycle have and this shows that the band are musically capable of producing different types of sounds, keeping all fans intrested and willing to purchase their forthcoming albums.
Flaws has been beautifully composed in my opinion, with a soft, melodical sounds, it is amazing to listen to. My favourite song is Ivy & Gold because of the catchy guitar riff and lyrics too, but there are other great tracks on the album. The album also contains an acoustic version of Dust On The Ground, which appeared on the first album.
All in all, I think this is a great buy and should be bought for all who love indie or acoustic music and for those who have never listened to the beauty of Jack Steadmans voice and the bands composition of music.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Rinse Me Down
2 Many Ways
3 Dust On The Ground
4 Ivy & Gold
5 Leaving Blues
6 Fairytale Lullaby
7 Word By Word
9 My God