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Blue Lights On the Runway

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Album Review

Established fans of this scrappy Irish quartet may be startled by the band's slight turn toward electronica on its fourth studio album, but there's no need to fear: the focus is still on bittersweet melody and whimsical lyrics. Lines like "Bring your canary, bring your flame" and "I'd say life's a different story when you're facing certain death" and entire songs like the snotty, raunchy "One Stringed Harp" offer an interesting counterbalance to what are often delicately beautiful arrangements and tunes; on "The Great Defector" a slightly off-kilter verse slides into a startlingly simple and lovely hook in the chorus, all the while flirting with a ska beat. (It also features the couplet "You're the chocolate at the end of my cornetto/I love the way your underwire bra sets off that X-ray machine.") "Blow Ins" is subtly lounge-flavored until the gentle vocals come in and change the whole mood; "Breastfed," oddly enough, is written in 7/4. If you're looking for more cowbell, then try the relatively rockish "A Better Band," and if you're looking for less melody, try the weirdly tuneless "How Your Heart Is Wired." Blue Lights on the Runway is one of those rare albums that you can pretend to like for its alt-credibility while secretly just enjoying it for the hooks.

Customer Reviews

Great Band - Good Album

I had high expectations when I bought it, but that's because their past ablums have been amazing. This was good but not as good as their other ones. Still a must have for Bell x1 fans, and I don't agree that they changed their style. They still have the various different types of tracks like in all their other albums. Bell x1 is not your run of the mill band, and it does not appeal to a huge population (from what I've seen) and even more so with some of the funky songs they have, and this album has quite a few of them.

Ireland's new royalty

Move over U2, its time for the princes of Irish music to take the throne. Its not luck that both of these irish stalwarts are releasing albums on the same day! What you are witnessing is the passing of the torch. BX1 have produced 4 albums (one is not currently on iTunes) each successfully better than the last. This is true progress in music. "How your heart is Wired" is a good indicator of the level of song-writing on this album. Do yourself a favour and add it to your album collection!


Have seen these guys a couple of times live, brilliant, great follow up to Flock


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...
Full Bio
Blue Lights On the Runway, Bell X1
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Customer Ratings