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4.5 out of 5 stars
I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 2 May 2010
I remember these guys opening V Festival in 2006 after winning the Road to V competition, but it wasn't until 'Always Like This' was highlighted in Metro's singles of the week (with the review 'if you don't dance to this, you have no feet') that I checked them out again. Very glad I did - apart from the aforementioned single and debut single 'Evening/Morning' (both with incredible riffs), there are some truly standout classics here, including 'Lamplight', 'Magnet' and near-anthemic 'What If'. Overall, it's a remarkably polished effort for a debut, and from a band so young. Now they've won NME's Best New Band Award - previously won by MGMT, Arctic Monkeys, Kings of Leon, The Libertines, Coldplay, Muse, and The Strokes - it's definitely worth checking them out sooner rather than later.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 1 February 2010
Loving this lately - probably my favourite album of 2009 (only maybe The XX can top it) for this ageing listener. The vocalist is a bit of an acquired taste but other than that this does some pretty inventive things within the potentially stale indie rock field. Reminds me of British Sea Power (without the delightfully strange lyrics) more than anybody else. Nice unfussy production lets the music shine through. Highly recommended.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A strong and tasty debut from Crouch End's finest sons.
A very much more than competent little rock band.

'I Had The Blues but I Shook Them Loose' is a collection
of twelve made-to-measure, energetic and charismatic songs.

Messrs Steadman (Guitar/Lead Vocals), MacColl (Guitar/Vocals),
de Saram (Drums) and Nash (Bass/Keyboards) have created some
powerfully individual material from a relatively simple formula.

Mr Steadman's somewhat curious vibrato gives the band its
distinctive quality. It is a quirky but expressive instrument.

The dark chords and driving percussion of 'Dust On The Ground'
is a particularly striking composition. The guitar and synth
embellishments are moodily effective.

Mr Steadman is at his wobbly best on the lop-sided 'Ghost'.
A very strange but strangely satisfying composition.

Heck for a first outing this is all good stuff!

'Cancel On Me' is a particular favorite. A tight little
ensemble piece. No heroes or heroics. Just good team work.

Final track 'The Giantess' is so wonderfully weird I would
have paid the money to have this one track on its own.
The splintered and cranky accoustic arrangement is a brave
choice with which to conclude their first release.
It breaks the mould of its predecessors and points the
way to potentially interesting developments in the future.

That future is already looking bright.

Recommended
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 10 December 2009
Short Review:
Its awesome, please do yourself a favor get it!! I've listened to it loads over the past few months because it sounds great and it never gets boring.

Long Review:
These guys are getting more and more popular and for this I am glad. I've really enjoyed listening to this album, it grows on you after just one listen and is something you can listen to anytime. I only bought it by chance as I'd heard of them a few times through Radio 1 and the Radio 1 Big Weekend Introducing Stage, and it was a great investment. With this as their debut album, packed with awesome musical creativity and talent, BBC (Bombay Bicycle Club) have set the bar high. This album doesn't consist of just a few great tracks with some filler tracks, every track is worth playing alone but the album should definatley be played all the way through.

The band members are: Jack Steadman (Lead Vocals, Guitar, Bass), Jamie MacColl (Lead guitar, Bass, Vocals), Ed Nash (Bass, Keyboards) and Suren de Saram (Drums).

Stand out track: To be honest it is very hard to chose one as they all stand out. In this case I'll choose two.

1. Magnet - The intro has a cool guitar riff and the chorus is amazing, its colourful, full of energy and has a beautiful winding sound accompanied by lead singer Steadman's unique voice, singing 'We took the back-seat, everyone way ha-ppy'. Very summery. The track finishes with a low-fi, low-tempo instrumental.

2. Always Like This - A great song to play on guitar/bass with the cool riff repeating and great chord play between the two guitars. Also a cool funky one to dance to.

This is a fun, catchy, uplifting and sometimes euphoric record, which would be great for those evenings in the company of friends. If you appreciate 'proper' music this is one for your music collection.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
When The Strokes arrived on our beaches eight years ago they came soaked in original indie Old Spice; jaggedy songs played by skinny jeans and smelly second hand leather jackets beamed to the noughties direct from their 70's inspired late 80's heyday.
Bombay Bicycle Club seem to have popped into reality from the same ultra-cool wormhole; looking impossibly young and sounding as fresh as only the impossibly young can sound. Jack Steadman has a voice that will - like Dave Gedge and Morrissey before him - alienate some and impassion others, but it absolutely suits BBC's sound; original but with a taste of the old masters (to these ears Television, Joy Division, Blur, Arcade Fire and - on occasion - even Aphex Twin). "I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose" is a perfect album in that it is almost impossible to single out specific tracks as they exist as a whole...no fillers and each a potential highlight in their own right. Joyous and melancholy...I think I've fallen in love.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 14 December 2009
This album is just absolutely amazing! Definitely impressive, even better live, and seeing them again soon :).
Evening/Morning was the first song I heard by them, and I was hooked, this was around like, 2 years ago?! I'm glad they've released an album, and I've had it on repeat for the past 3 months!
Definitely a must-buy!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 17 July 2009
After a long time coming (the EPs here comprised were released February and October 2007), this much anticipated release sees the light of day, now that the band have completed their A-Levels of course. Oh, wide-eyed youth! On one hand, you have good-for-their-age artists like Tiny Masters of Today and Smoosh, and genuinely talented acts like this one, no matter their age. Their shaking loose of the blues could be seen as a metaphorical shaking loose of the shackles of child-to-teenage-hood and the subsequent entering into the adult world, where the band are starting to meet hitherto-unbeknownst and staunch adult critique and judgement, and some much stronger, and carrying greater gravitas, than mine.

Their fragile indie-rock pop is fronted by the trembling vocals of Jack Steadman and is mostly efficient done-by-numbers stuff recalling EP-era Ra Ra Riot with whom they may share a future pigeonhole. Other comparison allows Steadman's fractured vocal to hint at Conor Oberst in places, notably on album opener `Lamplight'. Single, `Evening/Morning', however, starts in math-rock intricacy and displays this collective's devotion, or obsession, to their craft. `Always Like This' is far more interesting, a track of two halves that comes on like a credible Vampire Weekend in its nu-world approach, later switching into an atmospheric build and bridge format, which is very effective.

`Magnet' is the key to this release and both draws in the listener and simultaneously repulses him. It jitters in Interpol country, though on a smaller and more upbeat scale naturally, before first deforming into the aforementioned Tiny Masters' good-for-their-age schtick that elsewhere they avoid so successfully, and then flirting with ambient nonsense. Perhaps a little less naivety could have caused this ship to steer away from such waters, the same waters in which inhabit the ego-denting Scouting For Girls comparisons that some band about and which, harshly, in parts, are justified, but generously can be overlooked. Solid rockers like `Cancel On Me' go a long way to helping resolve this debate.

Bombay Bicycle Club are not yet the institution their shorthand purports to be, but, for the most part, have constructed an affecting, charming and beguiling release, which, with worldly exposure, ought to lead to greater things.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 3 December 2009
Loved this album! Some fantastic tracks like Ghost, Evening Morning, and my favourite, Dust on the ground. Buy it. This and Kasabian are my favourite albums at the minute
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 28 November 2009
A friend tipped me off to one interesting riff, so I got the album. It is a relentless succession of quite fabulous songs, great hooks and fantastic dynamics. These blokes show maturity and confidence way beyond their years. That's quite apart from the song-writing talent. Am most surprised by the negative review on here - what's not to like? It's the best debut album I've heard since Pablo Honey. I knew Radiohead would be huge in 1992-3 and I feel the same way about this lot. Mind you, I also tipped the Welsh bird to win X Factor.
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When The Strokes arrived on our beaches eight years ago they came soaked in original indie Old Spice; jaggedy songs played by skinny jeans and smelly second hand leather jackets beamed to the noughties direct from their 70's inspired late 80's heyday.
Bombay Bicycle Club seem to have popped into reality from the same ultra-cool wormhole; looking impossibly young and sounding as fresh as only the impossibly young can sound. Jack Steadman has a voice that will - like Dave Gedge and Morrissey before him - alienate some and impassion others, but it absolutely suits BBC's sound; original but with a taste of the old masters (to these ears Television, Joy Division, Blur, Arcade Fire and - on occasion - even Aphex Twin). "I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose" is a perfect album in that it is almost impossible to single out specific tracks as they exist as a whole...no fillers and each a potential highlight in their own right. Joyous and melancholy...I think I've fallen in love.
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