Blue Lights On The Runway

Album Review of Blue Lights On The Runway by Bell X1.

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Blue Lights On The Runway

Bell X1

Blue Lights On The Runway by Bell X1

Release Date: Mar 3, 2009
Record label: Yep Roc
Genre(s): Indie, Rock

76 Music Critic Score
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Blue Lights On The Runway - Very Good, Based on 5 Critics

Paste Magazine - 91
Based on rating 9.1/10
91

Irish indie-rock lads carry momentum on latest.

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PopMatters - 80
Based on rating 8/10
80

After Bell X1’s previous album, Flock, the fact that Damien Rice was the original singer of this band (at the time named Jupiter) seemed irrelevant. Rice’s solo work represents a delicate tenderness that can, at any given moment, explode into a cathartic passion that expresses the deepest emotions in all of us. Bell X1, on the other hand, have evolved into a well-rehearsed arena rock band, ready to overtake bands like Franz Ferdinand and Coldplay with both great musicianship and catchy songwriting.

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AllMusic - 80
Based on rating 8/10
80

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.

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No Ripcord - 70
Based on rating 7/10
70

In music as it is in life, failure is often the first step towards fortune. Such is the case for critically-acclaimed folk artist Damien Rice, whose breakup with the now-defunct 90’s Irish rock band Juniper served as a career-defining springboard. Yet there are lingering questions as to whether said success will follow Rice’s former bandmates, who – despite the struggle to be taken seriously in a brave new world of experimental rock – have swallowed their lumps with dignity and toiled up the proverbial indie mountain.

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Entertainment Weekly - 58
Based on rating C+
58

The best song on this Irish outfit’s fourth disc is a pitch-perfect Talking Heads impression called ”The Great Defector,” which may or may not have been inspired by Bell X1’s own great defector, Damien Rice. (Before he split to pursue a solo career, Rice played with these guys as Juniper.) The rest of Blue Lights on the Runway is duller than that highlight; most of it sounds like warmed-over Coldplay, a commodity in no short supply among earnest U.K. indie types.

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