Bombay Bicycle Club ‘Flaws’ – Review

15 Jul

Who would have thought a few years ago that an indie band would find more success and acclaim with an acoustic folk album than their strokes-esque guitar pop one? Such are the times we now live in, and we have Mumford and Song and Noah and the Whale to thank (or blame) for it. Only a cynical man would think that BBC are jumping on the bandwagon, but is it only a coincidence that the release of ‘Flaws’ coincides with an unexpected folk revival?

Well it’s fairly obvious from the off that this is not a cash in, although the band do have great timing. ‘Rinse Me Down’ is much more sincere and accomplished than anything on the recent Mumford and Sons album. But whilst that comparison is the obvious one to make, it is not really that accurate; the sound of this album has more in common with the haunted music of Bon Iver, only made by a group from London. Jack Steadman’s voice has the same simple melancholy, the guitar picking is just as delicate and moving. There is a country tinge to a few of these tracks, and the band’s indie roots are still traceable (particularly on ‘Dust on the Ground’) but for the most part these are traditional, hand me down folk songs. The highlight is the title track, ‘Flaws’, for it’s moving honesty and sombre atmosphere. There really isn’t a bad song on here, although the cover of ‘Fairytale Lullaby’, whilst solid, seems a bit redundant.

The band are all still young, but for the most part this is a very grown up and ‘mature’ second album. At times they can be heavy-handed with the arrangements but on a whole the band sound a lot older than their years. The only other complaint is that at times this is too well crafted and assured – it would have been nice to see some more spontaneous bursts of passion or energy, for the most part it’s a bit too conservative. Still, it’s a lot better than their debut and it currently stands out as one of the most surprising and assured albums of the year.

8/10

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