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Bloodless Coup

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Album Review

Taking a page from 2009’s Blue Lights on the Runway, Bell X1’s fifth album continues to mix nervy electronics with anthemic pop/rock, resulting in ten brainy, quirky epics that target the heart as well as the head. Much has been made of Bell X1’s status as the second-biggest band in Ireland, and they certainly sound like it, with songs that swing for the cheap seats and melodies that bear more than a few similarities to the U2 songbook. The group finds a balance between electronic programming and organic instruments on Bloodless Coup, sidestepping the problems that plagued U2’s Pop by using synthesizers and drum machines to enhance, not dominate, the songs. The lyrics are often tongue-in-cheek, with Paul Noonan singing about humdrum topics like haloumi cheese, YouTube videos, and McDonalds, but the music is panoramic and gorgeous throughout.

Biography

Formed: 1999 in Dublin, Ireland

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Second only to U2 as Ireland's most popular rock band, Bell X1 crafts a tight, melodic pop sound that calls to mind pre-electronic Radiohead and the more sedate side of Coldplay. Having recorded albums with the likes of Nick Seymour (Crowded House) and Roger Béchirian (Elvis Costello), the band is best known for its ability to craft infectious, durable, radio-friendly hooks with strong production values. Although officially formed in Celbridge, County Kildare, in 1999, the group's roots stretch back...
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Bloodless Coup, Bell X1
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