The claimed ‘fix’ that Bombay Bicycle Club intrigues us with in the title of their new album can be compared to the type of fix you might get by shopping at a clothing thrift store. As you first enter, sure, it’s nothing THAT special – but still – you might be excited to find clothing you like enough to take home with you. And you have an idea of what you’re looking for, what you may see, but there’s that anticipation of what may catch your interest, and there’s the subtle anticipation of discovering the unknown.
As you casually look through the clothing racks, some things are of interest to you, but after a while things blend together in a forgettable way. It’s not necessarily that you don’t like the clothes…they may just be nothing you haven’t seen before. There’s a familiar stale scent in the air, there’s the feeling that many people have been here before. Nothing is too unique, but the familiarity is what comforts you. You’re free to wander. You’re free to explore. And sometimes, if you’re really having fun, you just want to dance! The song ‘Shuffle’ is perhaps more appropriately titled than BBC realized.
All analogies have to break down somewhere, so let’s get serious. This band has seemed to experiment musically, within obvious comfort zones; re-occurring vocal phrasings, intricate and melodic guitar lines, enthusiastic bass…but there are some interesting things that seem to differ from the previous albums; particularly in the over-arching sound production. The whole album is crisply streamlined, with little to no raw sounding instruments, like in the previous albums. There is a pleasant fullness to the album due to its use of reverb and delay, with a heavy use of synth pads and textures that fill the holes in the overall sound. The album is particularly impressive in the area of drums; specifically the use of percussive instruments, like wood blocks and tambourines and intriguing rhythms. Every instrument sounds so well produced that BBC may have set the bar high for any upcoming live shows.
The album has a sense of unity to it, that all songs flow together well, and although it all sounds good, not too much stands out. Either a) take a nap and let yourself drift in it, or b) Take an introspective drive at 2am and mellow out.
Tags: Bombay Bicycle Club - A Different Kind of Fix review, caleb crowe, Reviews