Thursday, July 15, 2010

Album Review: Bombay Bicycle Club - Flaws (4/5)

Unlike their last album, I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Off, British alternative band Bombay Bicycle Club have watered down their sound. Their second album Flaws finds the band shedding the electronic guitars and raw indie-rock sound for a more subtle folky acoustic venture and it works! There's enough melody and cohesion to make this collection of tracks work and work well.

The album is mainly built around soft guitar work, drums and the occasional piano keys. Setting the tone is "Rince Me Down" a soft collision of drums, guitar strings and vocals, following is "Many Ways" which picks up a more lighter ambiance and more complex guitar work in comparison. "Ivy & Gold" cranks up tempo but the rather hollow (but effective) layered guitar technique still evokes that sense of delicacy.

The irony in "Leaving Blues" is that it borrows a part of the title from the last album however sounding completely different to anything on there, it's possibly the most subtle number on here. The aptly titled "Fairytale Lullaby" cooes a soft melody as embracing tamborines pound over the top of the gutiars, possibly recalling the same acoustic-pop as Kate Nash experimented with on her album My Best Friend Is You, preferably "Do You Want to Share the Guilt?"

Unlike the previous two tracks, "Word By Word" adopts a more complex compistion even if like the previous two it's really only playing with layeres of guitar strings, which still sound pretty good. Following is the more muscally simple "Jewell" which is a perfectly contrast the follow-up "My God" which bleeds with distortion from the guitars and vocals, it different but it works somehow.

Title track "Flaws" is another melody-heavy winner, not as good as "Fairytake Lullaby" but still a winner. Closing the album is the haunting "Swansea." Bombay Bicycle Club delivered a satisfying follow-up, as I've said before: it's different but it works really well. Depending on what you look for in music in general, this album could be even more satisfying if you look into the lyrics.

Best: Rince Me Down, Fairytake Lullaby, Leaving Blues, Many Ways, My God

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