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Music Review

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Artist: Bell X1
Label: Belly Up Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 21 July 2017

Irish band, Bell X1 is back with their seventh studio album, Arms - the follow up to their 2013 release Chop Chop, which became the trio’s third #1 album on the Irish Album Charts and their fourth consecutive album to be nominated for a Choice Music Prize for “Irish Album of the Year...”

You'd be forgiven for thinking that this was the debut album of a new band, not the seventh release from a well established group. Personally I thought the songs were a little lazy and instantly forgettable. The album contains 9 songs (38 min, 33 sec).

Talking about the album, singer Paul Noone confessed: "This has been the most difficult record we’ve made, in terms of feeling like it was good enough to share, to let it go and no longer be just ours". Personally, I think those fears are well grounded. If you've been a fan of the band over the years then you'll be surprised at how much of a musical change they've gone through. Some may think it's a step backwards, while others will champion the band for trying to stay fresh.

In places this felt like a watered down Talking Heads album (nowhere is this more evident than in the track 'Bring me a Fire King') and other times it sounded like an amalgamation of bands from the late '80s / early '90s.

While I wasn't totally won over, there's enough here to warrant fans at least attempting to embrace it.


Nick Smithson

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