How do Bombay’s five records stand against each other?
Believe it or not, Bombay Bicycle Club have been around for quite some time, over 10 years. It’s also been 10 years since the release of their debut album I had the blues but I shook them loose, which set the band off on their musical journey. Since then they have accomplished in releasing five albums, quite the feat wouldn’t you say? So in natural fashion I’ve decided to rank them worst to best (None of them are bad).
5. Flaws (2010)
Bombay’s acoustic release in flaws is magical. Jack’s gentle voice combined with melodic fingerpicking is something which can only be enjoyed. With an acoustic version of ‘Dust on the Ground’ and title track ‘Flaws’ you get to hear the band at their most calm and mellow. This was an odd release for their second album, with their first being so bold and abrupt. It really took people off the scent of another loud indie band, giving the band some added depth. This may be unfairly ranked at bottom, but I always find I need to be in a mood for slow paced acoustic songs which isn’t very often.
4. Everything Else Has Gone Wrong (2020)
From the announcement of the album in late 2019, I already expected a lot and it delivered on most fronts. With some stand out songs like ‘Eat Sleep Wake (nothing but you)’ and ‘Everything Else Has Gone Wrong’ it really defines the sound of the album, as Bombay deviate slightly from their previous record. Yet, there’s a lack of consistency throughout the tracks with some not really hitting, making it feel a little loose. Perhaps this is due to me not having much time with it, but from an early perspective I get the feeling these tracks won’t grow on me as much as their predecessors did.
3. I Had the Blues but I Shook them Loose (2009)
This record put Bombay on track and in the minds of future adoring fans. At the time it was released there was a bit of a clamoring for a good indie album for people to take notice of. IHTBBISTL hit the spot for a lot of folk, as their unique sound and vocals stood them apart from a lot of the bands. Also the arrangements of the songs were interesting, which driving this point even further home. ‘Lamplight’, ‘Cancel on me’ and ‘Always like this’ have become pillars in the Bombay setlist, sending the crowd into a frenzy whenever their showcased. Being placed third could be considered harsh for this record, but it’s up against two other strong releases. I think this is where a lot of people may disagree.
2. So Long, See You Tomorrow (2014)
When this album was released it was 3 years since we heard from the band, so when the release came around it was a major deal. The record saw the band adjust their style slightly, introducing much more musical elements into the songs, operating at one of the highest peaks of their powers. ‘Luna’ was released prior to the record, and I remember it receiving mixed reviews – me included. Yet, when the album was released it was all okay. The usage of dual vocals and harmonies were beautiful throughout the album, with some perfect vocal contrasted performances on ‘Home by now’, ‘Luna’ and ‘Eyes Off You’. This was released at great time for me, which is probably why it ranks so high, but from start to finish I can semi-confidently say I know all the words and reflects some very special moments personally.
1. A Different Kind of Fix (2011)
This album has some of Bombays best work on it without doubt, which is why it deserves top spot. From the start of the album with the opening to ‘How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep’ you feel as if you’re walking into the clouds as you feel an atmosphere of calm all around you. The duet on ‘lights out, words gone’ will forever be a favourite of mine on vocals alone, but the simple musicality adds to it. The album doesn’t take on this slow pace as a theme, with Bombay switching it up a few times. Songs like ‘your eyes’, ‘leave it’ and ‘bad timing’ are a keen reminder of their wilder side.
‘Shuffle’ also features on this album, which will always be my favourite BBC song. The joyous sounds built into the track brings an entire audience to life, like putting colour on a blank canvas. Towards the end of the song you have the magical call and response of “you gave to me all I know / I will stay here, I will not go’ where jack lights up the crowd and everything feels perfect. Some may disagree with this choice to take the top spot, but from back to front it’s pretty flawless, no?
Overall BBC’s world is at high standard whichever album you choose to listen to, but as difficult as this list was to create – this is how they stack up. This list was created to influence discussion, so if you feel they’re in completely the wrong order – get in touch and tell us.