Bell X1 - Arms


pid.1862020862 10/14/16 New

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ID: pid.1862020862


    Arms Bellyup

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Review Text By the arrival of 2013's Chop Chop, Bell X1 had been through more than a couple of adjustments to their sound, moving from reflective folk-rock through bold, synth-aided anthems and atmospheric ruminations. On their seventh studio album, the self-produced Arms, they offer a brighter art-rock that accentuates groove and texture. The stimulating "Fail Again, Fail Better" gets things moving with quirky samples, synths, a skittering drum cadence, and encouragement via lyrics like "Take the good luck, take the bad luck, spin it around." Less eccentric but still grooving is the honeyed ballad "The Upswing." It's jazzier accompaniment includes bass, piano, electric guitar, and synth flourishes, none of which draw focus from Peter Noonan's soulful lead vocals and the message that his partner makes things better. - Marcy Donelson

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