Bombay Bicycle Club’s fourth album is highly ambitious and sophisticated, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a thrilling listen. Written during frontman Jack Steadman’s travels through Turkey and India, the band attempt to infuse new influences into their catchy indie pop, with varying results. Opener ‘Overdone’ is superb, with cinematic strings juxtaposed against rough guitars providing a nice blend of the new and the familiar. On the other hand, ‘Feel’ lacks any subtlety with its inclusion of a sample from a Bollywood soundtrack, spoiling an otherwise rather uplifting track and certainly one of the album’s catchier moments. It’s this lack of hooks across the album that lets it down: Bombay Bicycle Club are a pop band at heart, and while an exploration of new ideas can often freshen up a tired formula, they seem to have gone too far the other way in search for a ‘maturity’ that can in fact equate to being boring. You get the feeling they are somewhat aware of this as they give the album’s two quieter songs, ‘Eyes Off You’ and the title track, cacophonous climaxes when they might actually have been more effective without them. A mixed bag, then, with some gratifying moments but some that are neither mellifluous nor memorable.

[Ally Shaw]

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