Album Review: Clean Bandit – New Eyes

is impressed by Clean Bandit’s debut record

clean bandit

Clean Bandit has received an overwhelming amount of response since their first hit on the electro-pop scene with ‘Mozart’s House’ back in 2013. The Cambridge University graduates have become extremely successful over the past year or so, with their hit single ‘Rather Be’ topping the UK charts as a summer-warming melody. Clean Bandit obtained their unique band name meaning ‘Complete Bastard’ from a period spent in Russia by band members Jack Patterson and Grace Chatto (who were then a couple).

The debut album, entitled New Eyes, has entered the charts at number 3, reflecting the UK’s consensus that Clean Bandit should definitely be regarded with excited anticipation. Clean Bandit intricately merges classical and electronic sounds to produce an almost new genre of music, which is especially apparent in ‘A+E’. Featuring artists such as Sharna Bass, Stylo G and Jess Glynne has given undeniable personality to each individual track. Clean Bandit have released an dynamic album that additionally encompasses dancehall, hip-hop and garage in later tracks.

The first track on the album is ‘Mozart’s House’ which bounces the listener into a world of techno, reminiscent of old Super Mario games. ‘Extraordinary’, my personal favourite, immerses the audience in a violin-filled deep house mix whilst managing to explore the depths of individual change. This tune belongs on a sun-filled beach, and will continue to increase in popularity as the weather begins to pick up. ‘Dust Clears’ expands on the basic house beat to explore an eccentric world of creativity, influenced heavily by the members’ time spent at Jesus College.

Currently their most famous song, ‘Rather Be’, incorporates an irresistible infusion of house and neo-classicalism to produce their number 1 hit. The lyrics are incredibly catchy, in an almost irritatingly easy way, yet it does Clean Bandit favours. At a first glance it appeared that I had managed to click onto the Baroque section of my iTunes, but in reality I was listening to ‘A&E’, under heavy influences of Bach. The track develops into dancehall style composition, merging effectively into ‘Come Over’ featuring ‘Stylo G’ with a Sean Paul-esque panache. ‘Cologne’ investigates the deep house merge with pop under reggae influences to produce a flamboyant dance track, ideal for parties.

Finishing the CD, Clean Bandit has wedged in two versions of Nightingale on. The original track encompasses drum & bass, and even has nightingales tweeting over the melody. The Gorgon City remix intensifies the transition towards deep house that has recently started to slip into mainstream pop charts. Clean Bandit has managed to amplify a unique, yet harmonising mix of electronica, dancehall, hip-hop, house and of course classical in a modern approach to produce some of 2014’s best sounds.

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