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Album Review: Bombay Bicycle Club- ‘A Different Kind Of Fix’

Most bands are afraid to drift from their signature style that earned them a loyal fan base to begin with, churning out album after album that eventually merges into years of same-sounding songs that eventually gets, well, boring. I don’t blame them, however, for being wary of trying something new – the latest controversial release from Snow Patrol, for example, has led to an uprising of angry fans demanding “the old Snow Patrol”.

But getting back to Bombay Bicycle Club, they’ve ‘changed bicycles’ again for their latest album which radiates a creative genius, embodying just how effortlessly they can progress. Releasing three albums in a little over three years, they’ve gone from an indie-infected debut to a sparse, folk-fuelled “Flaws”, and now, they stay true to form and refuse to stick to one genre, opening a beguiling new chapter with “A Different Kind of Fix” (released on August 29).

When I finally ventured past the swoon-worthy melody of album opener “How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep” and its collective repetition of lyrics and piano riffs, I discovered something incredible – the innovative sound of guitars neatly drawn into the background to make way for synths, loops and delicately layered vocals. “Shuffle” is slap bang in the middle of the 12-track album which, if you ask me, is the perfect place for it. Chosen as the first single, it combines everything that the album sets out to convey into a euphoric, wonky piano-driven jingle. Ever other song builds on a specific aspect of their new sound, be in the urban inspired beats or synth driven melodies. “Lights Out, Words Gone” exudes a heavenly air shrouded in a choral harmony that rouses even the coldest of hearts, whilst “Still” is a breath-taking, goose bump-generating finale that’s magical and slightly unnerving in its beauty.

Said to be about “bad habits and addictive behaviour”, “A Different Kind Of Fix” is a musical landscape that ebbs and grows with exceptional grace. Occasionally, the momentum wanes a little, but that matters so little that it was probably not worth mentioning. You can’t help but commend a band who’s taken many a risk to shape and remould their sound, thus creating a twelve track masterpiece as a result. They have developed as songwriters and musicians at quite a startling rate that I wouldn’t be surprised if their next album is something as unexpected as a disco compilation – and a good one, at that.

For more on the band head here.

-Charlie Clarkson

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