So Long, See You Tomorrow marks Bombay Bicycle Club’s fourth studio album and if they have established any kind of identity as a band since their debut in 2009 it is that they do not like to stay in one place too long, both musically and geographically. Whether it be front man Jack Steadman’s travels throughout the world or the band’s tendency to rethink their sound with each new record, they seem a band that loves the idea of keeping things fresh.
My only experience with Bombay Bicycle Club prior to So Long was with the bands sophomore effort Flaws, an album done entirely acoustically. This was an album I fell in love with back in 2010, mostly because of the intriguing voice of singer and songwriter Jack Steadman along with the use of multi-layered acoustic guitars and muted drums. Little did I know, this style had been one long abandoned for a more electronic, world music flavor. At first the transition from what I thought was a more indie folk band to the band I was hearing was a bit jarring. But as soon as I was able to get over my preconceived notions about So Long, See You Tomorrow, I was able to hear it for what it was, another successful album for the North Londoners.
As I’ve said, the band ditched their folksiness for this album but with that came the emergence of a pop-sensibility that previously was not associated with the Bombay Bicycle Club. No more is this evident than in the first four tracks of the record. Each one containing a chorus that you memorize within only a few listens and can’t help but get stuck in your head. “It’s Alright Now” is the standout song and seems destined to be spun on college radio shows all around the country. I would be remiss if I did not give credit to English Singer-songwriter Lucy Rose who was featured heavily on the album, specifically on “Carry Me”, “Home by Now”, and the aforementioned “It’s Alright Now”. The back and forth between her and Steadman is infectious and is evidence of just another way that Bicycle Club took an artistic risk and struck gold.
The album as a whole is catchy but somehow a little more forgettable than previous outputs. This is not all bad, as it may mean it more accessible for those looking for catchy fun rather than something they need to put multiple listens into.