Blue Lights on the Runway
Following on with the luck of the Irish the band had with their multi-platinum last release ‘Flock’, Bell X1 release their new material on their fourth album ‘Blue Lights on the Runway’.
I expected something with a bit more oomph but there were no enchanting melodies to get yourself moving along to or anything with much of an upbeat nature. Admittedly there is some electro present in the six minute long ‘How your Heart is Wired’. As it kick starts with the drums and piano, it becomes one of the more noticeable faster paced tunes. There are a few other slightly melodic songs like ‘A Better Band’, which pops in with some wooded tapping, which did my head in. However, the guitars lighten the mood with a good beat, even though the momentum never really explodes. The only other remotely upbeat song is ‘Breastfed’.
The remaining tracks are fairly mellow. Brass work on ‘The Curtains are Twitchin’ is remarkable, ‘Blow Ins’ has subtlety in its piano melody while shrouded in melancholy while ‘Amelia’ is magical.
Bell X1 definitely know how to write an excellent song. I was skimming though the lyrics book while listening and the tracks are quite creative in the way the words are put together. ‘The Ribs of a Broken Umbrella’ was the first to catch my ear for its metaphorical emotions and statements of the loss of someone you cared for. It is quite mellow for an opener, but the lyrics make up for it. The recent single ‘The Great Defector’ has an incredibly catchy chorus, while the most comical tune is ‘One Stringed Harp’; this one actually made me chuckle with its rants.
The most tremendous of tunes is not the catchiest, the most lyrically ingenious, the most upbeat or mellower of songs, in fact ‘Light Catches Your Face’ is probably the simplest yet the song I enjoyed listening to the most. It blends piano, guitar and vocals so they stand out and even with very little variation it gives me a tingling sensation and anxiousness I got when listening to ‘Everything I Do’ or ‘Right Here Waiting’.
Bell X1 have created an astonishing album of mellow songs for a relaxation break, away from the over powering Indie rock songs sweeping the current scene. This is an impressive array of songs from the Irish musicians.