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iTunes Review

Bell X1 have been one of Ireland’s most successful bands, yet have remained an obscure secret in the U.S. Flock was released in Ireland in 2005 and has since gone five-times platinum there, while the U.S. release was finally cleared in 2008. (Additional trivia: They are named for the first plane to break the sound barrier.) Their diverse approach makes them a difficult band to immediately nail down. “Rocky Took a Lover” is an affecting piece of honest reportage with a dour hangover groove. “My First Born for a Song” is a lulling, ambient piece with pulsing keyboards and a serene spiritual vibe. “Flame” is an antsy piece of radio pop. Skewered guitars and a metronomic beat drive “Bigger Than Me.” Claims of Radiohead-lite or Coldplay-heavy aren’t insults, but rather a roundabout way of saying the group battles between an expansive experimentalism and a desire to mope around to pretty pop melodies. “Bad Skin Day” and “Natalie” shade towards the ‘90s melancholic guitar pop of Luna with grander expectations, while “Reacharound” uses disruptive rhythm shifts and siren-like keyboards to put the audience on full alert.

Customer Reviews

Complexity and Grit

I found Bell x1 baxk in 05 and have been loving the sounds and overtly smart lyrics. Check what a hidden gem they have been.

Very elegant, and really fun album

I first heard Bell X1 when "Eve, the Apple of My Eye" was included on the fourth installment of the O.C. soundtrack, and was hooked, but couldn't find any of their albums here in the States. Finally, their newest album, "Flock" is available here, and it is great! I have gone through the album four times, and it just gets better and better. The music is elegant at time, like in "Eve," "Bad Skin Day," and "Natalie," and it's also really clever on tracks like "Rocky Took a Lover" and the crassly, but amusingly titled, "Reacharound." I liken them to Snow Patrol, but with much better and less pretentious lyrics.


I've been listening to Rocky Took a Lover for a couple months now. It was realesed in the UK earlier than the US and I got it sent over. I love this song and these guys are a great band. Reminds me a lot of Snow Patrol in the Indie style. They will be a force to be reckoned with if they can break through just as Snow Patrol did. Definetly a good buy!


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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