Review Summary: And i can't say no, not until i reap the seeds i sow
Bombay Bicycle Club have blossomed considerably in the few years since their 2009 debut. Blooming early in 2014, So Long, See You Tomorrow is a fresh, vibrant album that sees the group confidently diving into a highly melodic electronic sound. Gone are the spunky guitars of yesteryear making way for electronic sounds – be they quirky synthesiser bleeps or propulsive bass beats. ‘Overdone’ is a superb opener, glistening and bounding into life graciously with a dramatic composition. It sounds like a bright sunny day welcoming itself into the world and serves as the perfect doormat to an equally bright and sunny album.
So Long… features a number of tracks that are buoyant and optimistic in addition to other songs which are more intimate and sincere, but all are driven by vibrant rhythms and Jack Steadman’s sugary sweet vocals. Third single ‘Luna’ gallops along on its skittish rhythm, laid back infectious vocal hooks and nice interplay between male and female vocals; it couldn’t be more colourful and pleasant if it tried. Meanwhile, ‘Carry Me’ presents a more moody approach but doesn’t neglect melody with its stabbing electronic percussion. The track demonstrates a wonderful tactic which Bombay Bicycle Club have mastered on this LP - the build up to a cathartic release of sound and melody. When the chants of ‘You carry, you carry, you carry, you carry me’ arrive halfway through the song explodes and washes over the listener in a wave of addictive melody. Other tracks also employ this tantalising tactic – ‘Whenever, Wherever’ builds from a somber piano opening to dance-inflected drums and optimistic chants of the title midway through, before winding back down to close in the same manner it opened with, whilst ‘Eyes Off You’ and the title track build for several minutes before revealing their hand.
What the album is in simple terms, however, is a collection of bright, colourful melodic indie pop tunes, and it shines strongly on such a promise. ‘It’s Alright Now’ warmly floats by like a summer cloud; ‘Home by Now’ features a laid back R&B groove and silky smooth vocals, whist ‘Come To’ begins with one of the scant intrusions of electric guitar before collapsing into a quirky synth led gem. ‘Feel’ has an eastern feel to its melody and works but ultimately feels less free and fluid than its companions, and the title track which closes the album takes too long to reach its climax to suspend it as high as the rest. But ultimately So Long, See You Tomorrow is a triumph in the style it attempts. In the cold rainy months before spring you’d be hard pressed to find a more optimistic, colourful, vibrant and fun indie pop record to guide you towards warmer days.
Highlights: Overdone, Carry Me, Luna, Home By Now, Come To