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A Different Kind Of Fix
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A Different Kind of Fix is the third album from London's Bombay Bicycle Club, following the critically acclaimed indie of debut I Had the Blues But I Shook them Loose and the Ivor Novello-nominated sparse folk of Flaws. Recorded in Hamburg, London and Atlanta, A Different Kind of Fix sees the guitars firmly plugged back in for album number three, but added to the mix are synths, sampled loops, layered vocals from all four band members and washes of reverb throughout. Production-wise, the album reunites BBC with Jim Abbiss--who produced their debut--and also introduces them to Ben Allen (noted for his work with Animal Collective) whilst lead singer, Jack Steadman co-produces throughout. Includes first single, "Shuffle", "How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep" and "Take The Right One".
1. How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep
2. Bad Timing
3. Your Eyes
4. Lights Out, Words Gone
5. Take The Right One
8. Leave It
10. What You Want
11. Favourite Day
It's okay if you're a little irritating if you're also annoyingly good. Bombay Bicycle Club, young and fey when they pedalled onto the scene four years ago and now looking even younger and acting even more feyly, may still not be embraced by those who feel the post-Belle and Sebastian school of anti-rock merits a good slap rather than a hug and an exclamation of "aw, bless", but it's getting increasingly difficult to deny their talent.
Yes, they've been given more encouragement, nurturing and backing than most bands receive in a lifetime, but they've now released three albums of bravely different styles. Their debut was dynamic indie-pop, while top-10 follow-up Flaws lurched across to soft folk territory with a perversity that only seemed opportunistic with hindsight. Now, thankfully electing not to go the full Mumford, they return with something that's beautifully hard to categorise. A bit Italian house, a bit Animal Collective (Ben Allen is among the producers, as is 21st century tyro Jim Abbiss), a bit Talking Heads and a lot flush with giddy enthusiasm and sunshine, it's very indie and very fey - but in a good way.
Lead single Shuffle provides pretty much a microcosm of the album's feel. Building a gentle, hooky pop song over a looping, dance-inducing piano sample, it's, like all the best late-summer sounds, 75% exuberant and 25% melancholy. What You Want and Bad Timing waft in on similar breezes, but with less definition, more ambivalence. Lights Out, Words Gone is as close as they come to the realms of the epic, fostering a stabby white-funk riff until it blows off science (they're warmer than Foals) and stumbles happily onto something not a million miles away from soul.
Guitars are understated throughout, and singer/co-producer Jack Steadman's penchant for making bedroom-electronica off duty has permeated these grooves without smothering them in 'blub-' or any other kind of 'step'. Yes, the videos still display awkward, cringe-worthy naivety that could inspire the next The Inbetweeners movie, but this music is a mature mix of jaunty and jaundiced.
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Top Customer Reviews
'A Different Kind Of Fix' delivers yet another laudable compilation. The
largely acoustic ambience of 'Flaws' is substantially swept away in this
collection of twelve new compositions. There is a harder, denser more
abrasive sound in evidence here which looks back to their 2009 debut
'I Had The blues and I Shook Them Loose'. A bold and powerful next step.
Front man Jack Steadman still stands firm on the prow, face to the wind,
keeping the boat steadily on course and coasting over the towering waves.
The music is built for large venues. There is an epic quality creeping into
their writing which suits them well but the strong sense of tunefulness
which has always defined their best work remains intact. Indubitably so.
Things kick off in fine style with opening track 'How Can You Swallow So
Much Sleep'; the gentle dreamy introduction quickly giving way to a fine
driving anthem. Suren de Saram's energetic drums and the intertwining guitars
support a quasi-folksy vocal from Mr Steadman. Around and around it goes.
'Bad Timing' and the splendid 'Your Eyes' keep the pace going until the
perfectly lovely song 'Lights Out, Words Gone' brings things down a tad and
proves to be one of the band's most affecting and memorable performances.
The vocal harmonies are beautifully crafted. A song to be very proud of.
So too with 'Fracture', an echoing lament which tugs at the heartstrings.
It is to final track 'Still', however, which we must turn to hear the album's
very finest moment. A stunning and very moving arrangement for voice and
piano which shows off Mr Steadman's distinctive falsetto at its best.Read more ›
Personal highlights are the fantastic 'Your Eyes' which is a song that definitely goes back to 'I had the Blues...' but with a slightly heavier riff than older songs.
'Beggars' is a song that will be compared to songs from 'Flaws' but it is very different, combining the acoustic and electric.
My favourite song though is 'Still'. Jack Steadman's voice is simply superb in this song and his lyrics are fantastic. It is such a beautiful way to end the album and leaves you wanting more.
Ed Nash's bass lines are unusually catchy, especially in the wonderful single 'Shuffle'.
Lucy Rose comes into this album (she sang in the title song of 'Flaws') and appears in around half of the songs and is such a fantastic addition with her beautiful voice, particularly in 'Lights Out, Words Gone'.
Suren De Saram is a brilliant drummer. A Different Kind of Fix doesn't have as catchy beats as in 'I had the Blues...' but he is still very inventive and shows how good of a drummer he is.
Jamie Maccoll's rhythm guitar gives all songs a nice flow and his backing vocals are perfect.
As previously mentioned, frontman Jack Steadman is a wonderful lyricist and a fantastic singer.
Overall, this is a brilliant album and you shouldn't hesitate in buying it.
Its almost like this album represents Bombay Bicycle Club finding themselves - their own unique sound, because if you haven't already listened to them - they truly sound like no other. The acoustic plucking and Jack's vulnerable warbling is familiar to previous sounds however this time it perhaps stumbles happily onto something not a million miles away from soul.
Really its a 3.5 out of 5 for me for every song I like there another that doesn't interest me as much.
I suggest making your own mind up
Good price, good quality from Amazon.
A Different Kind Of Fix is a thrillingly creative, refreshingly playful album which provides ample evidence that modern music doesn't have to be predictable or mediocre to become popular with record buyers.
But it is the Bombay Bicycle Club's third outing that sits atop this pile, shining brightly as a beacon of hope against auto-tuned, manufactured chart-topping singles. This record achieves the incredible by forging a sound that has progressed, grown and developed from previous albums and still sounding and keeping what makes them so good in the first place.
Album opener "How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep" is a dancey, looped-riff track that builds to an impressive crescendo of pouring vocals and sound. From here we travel through highlights such as the light, boppy and happy "Your Eyes" and the serene "Lights Out, Words Gone". Both are stand-out tracks and brilliantly showcase the ways in which the band has grown since 2009's "I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose".
Other tracks worthy of note are "Beggars" and closer "Still". The former returns to the sound heard in 2010's acoustic "Flaws", whilst the latter is a fantastic way in which to round off the record in melancholy and tender fashion, parading the best of Steadman's identifiable vocals.
No review is complete however without mention of lead single "Shuffle". Not like anything the band had released before, "Shuffle" is a track sung with a face-wide grin and bounciness, the highlight and zenith for "A Different Kind of Fix".
In review, the Bombay Bicycle Club's third album makes them one's to watch and is wholly deserving of both your attention, money and time. Best Album of 2011? I think so!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Got this for my 17 yr old daughter. She loves it and says it's amazing!Published 4 months ago by Mrs. C. E. Rush
excellent from start to finish! their best album for me, especially 'Beggars' and 'Still'Published 9 months ago by Declan
Perfect sound quality which is always such a bonus with vinyl, I often find that it doesn't matter how modern it is, it can still sound a bit old - however, this is the exception! Read morePublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer