British alt-rock group Bombay Bicycle Club have returned with So Long, See You Tomorrow, a smooth and comprehensive fourth album. Coming a long way from their Blur-like rock heavy debut and sophomore LPs, they seem to have entered a more modern sound. In order to keep up with the trends of the times, an overwhelming amount of artists are trying to incorporate electronic elements into their music, but many are failing to mesh their original genres with the desired electronic anecdote, and we're left with a disappointing tangle of unattractive sounds. Bombay Bicycle Club, however, has managed this merger impressively well, and rolled up a new strain of style with just the right sprinkle of synth and bass, while still maintaining the Brit-rock feel desired by their fans.
The album's opener "Overdone" is like taking that first savory hit that lays down an array of emotional expectations, with an overseas flavor and a build that burns in the base of your throat. All of the forthcoming, positive qualities are distributed early on—implementation of worldly instrumentation, layering of vocals, and spot-on synth precision. It leaves us with some high expectations for the subsequent tracks, and what follows is a series of satisfactory tunes that keep us at an even-keeled body high. The most notable spike we're given is from the album's first single, "Carry Me", which centers around a thick bass, crisp drums, and Jack Steadman's repetitive refrain of "You carry me". Others that achieved near similar levels of excitement with their ethnic beats and tribal choruses were, "Feel" and "It's Alright Now". Unfortunately the closing, title track "So Long, See You Tomorrow", brings us back down with overbearing vocal samples to that unsatisfactory buzz where we regret having only taken a few hits and not just ripping the whole shebang. Overall, So Long, See You Tomorrow holds some exciting potential, but never quite reaches the level of exhilaration we expected from the beginning. The band's success in this album, however, lies in the subtlety of their genre meshing.
Watch the "Carry Me" music video.
So Long, See You Tomorrow is out now via Island Records.