Fans of Bombay Bicycle Club's 2009 debut album, I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose, will probably be surprised by their third album, A Different Kind of Fix…, and not necessarily in a good way.
Between the lack of catchy melodies or engaging guitar and vocal parts, most of the 12 tracks on A Different Kind of Fix… play out like a timid band that's suddenly suffering from an identity crisis. Almost nothing about this album builds upon nor expands their energetic and concise debut album. But with a couple of hits despite many misses, this album still might find its way into your speakers.
"Lights Out, Words, Words Gone" is evidence that BBC is up for trying new things. The song is accented by subtly placed "oohh's" and "aahh's," while singer Jack Steadman's vocals float gracefully over the song's melodically moody tempo. At the halfway point, guitars finally break in and display a hint of what we've come to love from this four-piece. This is the most engaging and interesting song on the album.
"Shuffle," the lead single on the album, opens up with an invigoratingly bouncy piano line while painfully catchy vocals display a happy dynamic I didn't know BBC were capable of.
From here the rest plays out like a bunch of lukewarm and bland attempts to fool their audience into thinking that they were made for anything other than creating up-tempo indie pop.
"Beggars" is an acoustically driven track that seems odd and out of place amongst the rest of the cuts. "Fracture" plays out like a weak B-side for the bands. Nothing is endearing about Steadman singing over an electric guitar and ONLY an electric guitar. His vocal chops are better fitted when backed by precise drums and bass.
Let's hope that BBC reassess themselves because if this album is any indication of the direction they're going in, then consider me a Bombay Bicycle Club fan circa I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose era.
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Reviewer Bio - Michael Rincon is a Entertainment/Music Journalist writing for various magazines since 2007. Based in Los Angeles Michael has gained experience within the music industry interacting with artists/bands and the labels they're a part of.