We all know that feeling: when you have an essay crisis because you’ve attempted to write an entire 2000 word argument based on one strong idea (which you’ve already used), and you still have 1200 words to go. Panicking, you grab copious amounts of chocolate and a book or two, and waffle like a champion to fill up the space, rifling the critic’s pages in an attempt to find an incredibly tenuous link. Et voila! You will also have So Long, See You Tomorrow.
Few albums have been as highly anticipated for 2014 as Bombay Bicycle Club’s So Long, See You Tomorrow. Their mix of calm, acoustic in- die folk and irresistible pop tracks have made them forerunners of the indie scene, and with three hugely successful albums already under their belt, they have a lot to live up to. Unfortunately, despite some great scraps of ideas, they haven’t quite done it.
That’s not to say it’s a poor album. Because the scraps that are great, are really great. The singles ‘Carry Me’, ‘It’s Alright Now’ and ‘Luna’ lead the record with a convincing confidence. Rae Morris, who supported the band at their Alexandra Palace gig in 2012, provides haunting and all-encompassing vocals on the latter, to help build a track that is true to heart, anthemic, and shows off what they do best: get- ting to the blood of the listener.
Although the deep cuts are where most of the disappointment lies, it’s also here that we find the highlight. ‘Eyes Off You’ is an embodiment of simplicity and love, and the perfect song for those who wish to reminisce back to 2010’s Flaws. The honesty the band promised with So Long, See You Tomorrow is at its finest here, on echoing piano and duet vocals. In a similar vein, ‘Whenever, Wherever’ starts and ends beautifully, but the faster middle only seems messy and unnecessary.
So Long, See You Tomorrow contains the genius fragments of music that fill frontman Jack Steadman’s mind late at night. But as good ide- as that come to us before we fall asleep often do, they loop like crazy, and are filled in with dull intermediaries. There’s little sense of unity or completeness. What’s really lacking is the aura which has made Bombay Bicycle Club’s past albums so addictive and distinctive.